Vice president of Acts 29 church planting network and founding pastor of The Journey megachurch in St. Louis, Darrin Patrick has been fired for violating his duties as a pastor. 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."
Here is the church's open letter from its leadership as to the removal of Pastor Patrick:
In recent weeks, allegations of pastoral misconduct regarding Pastor Darrin Patrick were made and confirmed. These actions, combined with a historical pattern of sin, led to the heartbreaking decision to remove Pastor Darrin from his role at The Journey and require him to step down from all internal and external leadership positions.
The accusations were not of adultery, but his behavior violates the high standard for a pastor/elder. In the last few years the elders have experienced and confronted issues regularly and intentionally with Darrin. This reveals that he has not been pursuing a personal walk with Jesus in a manner that reflects his pastoral calling and position as an elder in the church (I Peter 5:1-5, I Tim. 3:1-7). Though we all stumble in many ways, those called to teaching and preaching carry the weighty responsibility of setting an example of a Christ honoring lifestyle with the consequence of stricter judgment (James 3:1).
We agonized over this decision, and from the very beginning of this process, the elders have sought diligently to love Darrin, remind him of the Gospel, put a care team in place for his family, and make immediate plans for the church. Darrin has willingly placed himself under this care. With these resources in place, we are extremely hopeful in our God who is powerful to bring redemption and grace from the midst of brokenness. Ultimately, our faith in Jesus Christ and His Gospel gives us tremendous hope for renewed health and spiritual vitality for Darrin, the good of God's church, and the glory of Jesus Christ. Therefore, as the Bible teaches us, our hope is not in a leader but in the Lord:
The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed....
Be their shepherd and carry them forever. -Psalm 28:8-9
The Journey Board of Elders and Lead Pastors
Here are the specific reasons given by the Board of Elders concerning the removal of their pastor:
The initial and now confirmed accusations were not of adultery but did violate the high standard for elders in marriage through inappropriate meetings, conversations, and phone calls with two women. (I Tim. 3.2).
Additionally, the Board has been engaged for several years now in uncovering and confronting other deep sin patterns in Darrin that do not reflect the Biblical qualifications for an elder, such as
● abandonment of genuine Biblical community (Titus 1.8)
● refusal of personal accountability (failure to be a fellow elder according to I Pt. 5.1)
● lack of self-control (I Tim. 3.2)
● manipulation and lying (Titus 1.8)
● domineering over those in his charge (I Pt. 5.3)
● misuse of power/authority (I Pt. 5.3)
● a history of building his identity through ministry and media platforms (necessity to be "sober-minded" in I Tim. 3.2 and avoid selfish gain in I Pt. 5.2)
These patterns and lack of turning away from these sins reveal that Darrin has not been pursuing a personal walk with Jesus in a manner that reflects his pastoral calling and position as an elder in the church (I Peter 5.1-5, I Tim. 3.1-7, Titus 1.3-8)."
Patrick, the author of The Dude's Guide to Manhood and Church Planter, will no longer hold any internal or external leadership positions. He has accepted financial support from the church for an undisclosed period of time, and he and his wife will undergo counseling. The 45-year-old pastor also served as a council member for The Gospel Coalition, St. Louis Cardinals chaplain, and Acts 29 podcast host. Patrick's bio has been removed from the Acts 29 site.