The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.
Andrew Erickson, pastor of Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, stands accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol with a child in the car and carrying an unlawful weapon. Erickson later resigned from his position at Travis Avenue Baptist.
Drew Erickson, lead teaching pastor at Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, resigned suddenly March 5 after he was arrested in Tarrant County two days before on suspicion of carrying an unlawful weapon and driving while intoxicated with a child under age 15 in the car.
“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 in a brief resignation letter.
That letter was distributed to church members with an unsigned introduction that said: “It is with great sadness that we inform you that our lead teaching pastor, Drew Erickson, has resigned, effective immediately. 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.”
Erickson’s official bio on the church website said he has been an adjunct preaching professor at Southwestern “throughout his ministry,” but a seminary spokesman said Erickson had taught an English class at Southwestern’s undergraduate college as an assistant in 2013 but there was no other record of him being an adjunct preaching professor.
Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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Now that’s interesting the preacher got a DUI because I was raised in the Southern Baptist church and we were taught to never, ever drink alcohol. Another “do as I say and not as I do”.
These days, it seems that preachers aren’t as reticent to drink the devil’s brew. The problem, of course, is that Evangelical churches in the past called drinking alcohol of any kind a serious crime. Now it’s okay? Did God change his mind? 🙂
Well it messes things up when they start changing the rules this far into the game. Because in the South it has always been traditional for liquor stores to have what is known as “The Baptist Wall” which is a solid border fence that blocks view from the street of the drive-thru or back entrance at liquor stores that provides privacy for would-be Baptist drinkers. So the rules shouldn’t be changed because it messes with tradition and manner of all order of things. It’s funny though how the law changed just like now different races are allowed in the Southern Baptist church and women are allowed to wear pants. Apparently they allow divorce now too.
Bruce, I have a friend here in NJ who has an evangelical friend who never had a drink in her life. Now, around age 50, her new pastor has said it’s ok to drink alcohol. My friend (who was raised Jewish) said, “what, the evangelical God suddenly changed his mind, or was it just the pastor who changed his mind?” I told my friend that she was spot on as in evangelicalism what the pastor says goes – and those who don’t like what the pastor says find a new pastor.
That’s scary if whatever the pastor says goes. What if the pastor has Alzheimers or a mental illness? The brother of my step-mother had Alzheimers in his last years of preaching and they were trying to get him to step down because they said he was acting odd at the pulpit. No telling what he might had preached.
This Erickson clown was caught driving drunk with a child and an unlawful weapon (wonder what THAT was!) in his car. And to top it off, he also lied on his resume, saying he had been an adjunct preaching professor when he wasn’t. Moral turpitude of the highest order! 😑
Reminds me of when R.C. Sproul, Jr. was arrested in the Fort Wayne, IN area for DUI and was charged with child endangerment because he had his underaged kids in the car with him. He was rather too fond of Scotch.
Adjunct preaching professor? That’s new to me. Then again, my higher ed experience doesn’t include Christian college.
I, too, found the DUI charge interesting. I never was involved with a Baptist church, but I was part of an Evangelical church that saw alcohol as “the Devil’s brew.”
There are unlawful weapons in Texas?
Here in California, I have a nephew (since moved to Idaho) who was annoyed that a rifle he owns had to be left with extended family in his origin state of Indiana, because it was illegal to own in California. Not sure why it was illegal, but California is very down on extended magazines. I can’t imagine that owning even a shoulder rocket launcher is illegal in Texas. It simply doesn’t strike me as a state that limits firearms beyond Federal limitations. Not meaning to put the state down, simply making the point that an unlawful weapon in Texas must be one heck of a weapon.