So. Baptist pastor resigns after arrest for driving intoxicated with unlicensed weapon, child in car
Updated March 9 at 8:35 a.m. ET
Drew Erickson, the lead teaching pastor at Travis Avenue Baptist Church, a popular Southern Baptist congregation in Fort Worth, Texas, resigned Sunday, days after he was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated with a child under 15 and an unlicensed weapon in his car.
Ben Bolin, minister of church planting and missions, confirmed to The Christian Post on Wednesday morning that Erickson’s resignation letter was dated March 5. But he could not immediately say how soon after the arrest the decision to resign was made.
The 40-year-old pastor, previously stated on the Travis Avenue Baptist Church website that he served as an adjunct professor of preaching at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. A statement from the seminary to CP noted however that: "Erickson taught an English class in the undergraduate college of the seminary in 2013 as a teaching assistant. There is no other record of him serving in any capacity as an adjunct professor."
Travis Avenue Baptist Church has scrubbed Erickson from its website, and the pastor has also shuttered his social media accounts.
A cache of Erickson’s bio online shows that he had been licensed in ministry since 2006 from Lakeside Baptist Church in Canton. He was ordained to ministry in 2009 at Travis Avenue Baptist Church.
“His heart for pastoral ministry is to engage and encourage the church to reach the lost and make disciples of every tribe, nation and tongue,” the church said of their former teaching pastor.
Details of his arrest were first highlighted by Baptist News Global, which cited the Crime Informer as the source of information on the pastor’s arrest record. The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request from CP for a copy of Erickson’s arrest record.
An official in the records division explained that because the case is still actively being investigated, it could affect how much of the report can be released, if at all.
In his short resignation letter sent to parishioners and cited by Baptist News Global, Erickson, who has five children with his wife, Hailey, said he needed to resign due to personal issues he had been wrestling with for about a year.
“Over the last 12 months and more recently, it has become clear that there are things I need to work on personally, and I believe causes me to need a season of rest from the responsibilities of ministry,” he wrote.
An unsigned introduction to the letter further also insisted that Erickson was not fired.
“It is with great sadness that we inform you that our lead teaching pastor, Drew Erickson, has resigned, effective immediately,” the message said. “We assure you that Drew was not fired and that no improprieties have occurred at TABC. We love him, as you do, and we will miss him terribly.”
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