Pastor Darrin Patrick, best-known for planting The Journey megachurch in St. Louis in 2002, died Thursday night after an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Patrick rose to prominence in the Southern Baptist Convention(SBC) in the mid-2000s after planting the Journey church in 2002. It grew quickly with 2,300 congregations in weekly worship in 2008.

He was a great mentor to many church planters, and wrote a book on the subject in 2010 and served as a vice president for the Acts 29 Network, a global church planting organization.

This news reminds many of the devastating reality that Pastors and leaders are struggling as well but they keep silent in their struggles for the sake of their churches, families, or even their pride. The importance of the mental health of the Pastors amid this pandemic crisis and natural burnout should not be neglected.

Ronnie Floyd, president, and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee. "When a personal tragedy like this occurs, we not only grieve, but we also deal with so many other emotions. Once again, we realize that pastors are not any different from other people. We need relationships and friendships that help us walk through life and the challenges of leadership. The stress of ministry mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually is ever-present."

In an earlier statement Friday confirming the pastor's death, Seacoast church said "Darrin was a loved member of the Seacoast family, the teaching team, and pastoral staff and we are mourning his loss. Darrin had a gift for teaching the Word and a heart for encouraging other pastors."

The church added, "His influence and impact cannot be measured. We are surrounding the Patrick family with our prayers and support during this time."