Missouri Baptist Convention

Why a pastor who served as St. Louis Cardinals' chaplain was fired by his megachurch

Why a pastor who served as St. Louis Cardinals' chaplain was fired by his megachurch

Back in March, I critiqued a newspaper profile of the St. Louis Cardinals' team chaplain — a pastor named Darrin Patrick.

My review focused on the lack of details concerning Patrick's actual faith and church background.

Well, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch followed up that earlier feature with an in-depth story on Patrick today.

The new piece made the front page, but it's not positive news.

The lede:

ST. LOUIS — Shepherding a megachurch is tied in many ways to America’s celebrity culture. There’s a push for big-stage events and around-the-clock access through social media to a pastor’s life and thoughts.
It’s a formula that amplifies the message and multiplies the flock, in congregants who show up on Sunday for worship and in tens of thousands more followers online.
High visibility can also set pastors on a correction-course with humility that evangelical Christians call getting right with Jesus.
The Rev. Darrin Patrick, 45, of Webster Groves, is one of the latest on such a path. Elders at The Journey, a popular megachurch he founded with his wife in 2002, fired him a few weeks ago for what they viewed as pastoral misconduct.
Among the allegations:
• Lack of self-control.
• Manipulation.
• Misuse of power.
• History of building an identity through ministry and media platforms.
• Not adultery, but “inappropriate meetings, conversations and phone calls with two women.”
Reached by telephone, Patrick said he didn’t have more to say other than what The Journey outlined in a three-page letter to members, heavily footnoted in Scripture.
“I have four kids, little kids,” Patrick said, voice cracking. “I am trying to protect my family and figure this out.

Please respect our Commenting Policy

In battle of gay rights vs. individual conscience in Missouri, here's a surprising winner

In battle of gay rights vs. individual conscience in Missouri, here's a surprising winner

When it comes to political fights pitting gay rights vs. religious freedom, so much mainstream media coverage skews one way.

It's not terribly difficult to guess which way (here at GetReligion, editor Terry Mattingly even coined a special term for it).

This USA Today story this week is typical of the slanted (read: left-leaning) approach that many purportedly balanced news stories take concerning LGBT issues. In this piece, the gay-rights advocates are presented as rational and only concerned about fighting discrimination. The conservative religious types toting Bibles are depicted as "ugly" and "nasty." At least that's my impression after reading the national newspaper's take.

But hey, let's focus on the positive, not the negative, today and critique a solid, well-rounded news story from The Associated Press.

This piece benefits from three important "p" adjectives: Precise language. Proper framing. Purposeful balance.

Let's start at the top:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri voters, who were among the first nationally to adopt a constitutional ban on gay marriage, could get a say later this year on whether to grant greater religious protections to some business owners and individuals who object to same-sex marriage.
A proposed constitutional amendment that got its first hearing Tuesday in a Senate committee would prohibit government penalties against those who decline to provide goods or services "of expressional or artistic creation" for same-sex marriage ceremonies and celebrations.
The Missouri measure doesn't list specific types of business people who would be covered — though it comes as bakers, florists and photographers in other states have faced legal challenges for declining to provide services for same-sex weddings.

Please respect our Commenting Policy