According to the Christian Post on Friday, April 15, the founding pastor of a megachurch has been fired because of his lifestyle of sin. Pastor Darrin Patrick, 46, who founded The Journey in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2002, was fired from his position as pastor this week for what his church describes as “deep historical patterns of sin.” Patrick has also resigned from his position as vice president of the Acts 29 Network, which plants churches globally.
A letter was shared with the congregation of his 3,000 member-church confirming that Pastor Patrick has been accused of pastoral misconduct and was being relieved immediately of all his duties. The Board of Elders placed the pastor on paid leave. The pastor confessed to a historical pattern of sins that led to his removal. He apologized to the church and said he was devastated by his sins.
The pastor’s admitted to violating the high standard of the multisite church that has six locations in St. Louis and seven other churches he planted. Before the elders removed the pastor from the church, they met with him and his wife to provide counseling for them. They sought outside help including other pastors. However, the pattern of sin continued over several years. The elders said they tried repeatedly to help Patrick overcome his unbiblical lifestyle. Each time he promised to do better, but he eventually returned to his sinful patterns.
Christianity Today reported that Patrick’s sins involved two women in his congregation and a long list of sins in almost every area of his life. The elders clarified that Patrick’s sins did not include adultery, but The Journey cited a range of ongoing sinful behaviors over the past few years including manipulation, domineering, lack of biblical community, and “a history of building his identity through ministry and media platforms.”
Patrick said the grace shown by the elders toward him and his family has been nothing short of miraculous. He added, “The way that The Journey elders have demonstrated their desire to see me restored to Jesus, as well as their love for me, Amie and our family is nothing short of miraculous and beyond gracious. They have put together a thoroughly comprehensive restoration plan for myself and our family, and we have great hope for God’s healing, restoration, and reconciliation through this process. The removal letter outlining the sins and the process the elders took and Patrick’s response to this devastating news can be found here.