As the South Carolina-based, multi-site Seacoast Church is making plans to hold a memorial service for Pastor Darrin Patrick, who died of a “self-inflicted gunshot wound” Thursday, his wife, Amie Patrick, and the megachurch’s Lead Pastor Josh Surratt shared how they're grieving the loss and how they are dealing with it.
“We are heartbroken beyond belief, terribly confused, and missing Darrin in ways that feel unbearable,” Amie wrote on Instagram, adding that the congregation’s “kind remembrances of him, photos, stories, and encouraging words are healing to our souls.”
Patrick, who founded The Journey megachurch in Missouri and served as a teaching pastor at Seacoast, died at the age of 49 on Thursday.
“Darrin was target shooting with a friend at the time of his death. An official cause of death has not been released but it appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No foul play is suspected,” Seacoast Church shared in an update Friday evening after announcing his death earlier in the day.
The police investigation into the incident is ongoing and it’s unknown whether the self-inflicted gunshot wound was “intentional or unintentional,” a representative from the church told The Christian Post on Saturday.
Amie said Patrick “was the rock of our family, the great love of my life, and a fiercely devoted father to our amazing children. He was a dynamic force of nature, deeply passionate and so, so fun. Mostly though, he loved God and people in ways that will challenge me for the rest of my days. And he loved me so well... I learned so much about how God loves me through the ways that my husband saw me, knew me, and cared for me. We will be a mess for a good while, but we will be ok. We grieve deeply with unwavering hope that this world is not the end and that we will see our Darrin again.”
Ahead of weekend church services, Pastor Josh Surratt, one of Seacoast Church’s teaching pastors who serves on the Executive Team as the Seacoast Lead Pastor, went live to share why the Saturday evening and Sunday services would not be live.
Surratt was wearing a T-shirt with the title of Patrick’s book, The Dude’s Guide to Manhood written on it. It was gifted to him by Patrick.
Surratt said Amie is one of the strongest women he’s known.
“After Darrin died,” he said, “we all ... have been wrecked. We’re all having our private moments … I've cried more in the last couple of days … than, I think, I ever have in my life.”
Surratt said the church will continue with its Mother’s Day observance this weekend, but there will be a tribute to Pastor Patrick at the end of the service.
He explained that the church had already planned to host a pre-prerecorded service prior to Patrick’s death, and his wife, Lisa, will preach the sermon. “Actually her message is very much relevant to what we all are walking through,” he said.
This is because many who join the online service do not know about Patrick’s story and would be seeking hope for their own lives. The church and Darrin’s family are not ready yet for a service dedicated to his passing, Surratt added.
Following the weekend's service message led by Lead Pastor Lisa Surratt, the church announced that a service celebrating Patrick's life and legacy will be held on May 16-17.
The church added: “God allowed us to be a part of Darrin’s story in a time when he needed a church family. He was a gift to us and we are thankful for the time the Lord gave him to us. His influence and impact cannot be measured. The Patrick family will always be part of ours.”
In a message to the church on Friday, Surratt wrote: “On Thursday night we learned the tragic news that our friend, Pastor Darrin Patrick, went to his eternal home in heaven. We do not have the words to describe what our family has been processing – we know that will take some time. We all loved Darrin as an incredible teacher and pastor and for many of us on staff, Darrin was a close friend. This loss is a heavy one for Seacoast and we are going to feel it for a long time.”
He continued: “We are experiencing heartache beyond words. It is during these tragedies that we lean even more deeply into the hope that Jesus provides. We mourn, but with the hope of the resurrection firm in our hearts we know that death is not the end. So many of us are suffering in this time and we want you to know that you are not alone.”
He added, “Grief and shock may feel overwhelming in these moments, but we know that by God’s grace, sorrow does not have to overcome us. Through tears, we celebrate Darrin’s life, the legacy he leaves behind and his promotion into Heaven.”
The church has started an online fundraiser to support the Patrick family. “As we process our grief and heartache, we want to provide a way for others to give assistance to the Patrick family, and show their deep love and appreciation for what Darrin meant to them,” it says.