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 was called to the role at the historic Fort Worth church in October 2019. A native of Canton, Texas, he was ordained in 2009 at Travis Avenue, where he previously served as student minister. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Dallas Baptist University and a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he currently is a Ph.D. candidate.
The history between Southwestern Seminary and Travis Avenue is long and deep. The tall-steeple church is located about 2 miles from the seminary campus, and throughout the years many students, faculty and staff have been members there. Until MacGorman Chapel was built on campus, the seminary held its commencement ceremonies at Travis Avenue.
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.
One of the seminary’s beloved former presidents, Robert Naylor, came to that role from the pastorate at Travis Avenue. Later, Joel Gregory was pastor at Travis Avenue before he briefly succeeded W.A. Criswell as pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas. Erickson followed Michael Dean, who served as pastor there from 1991 to 2019, until his retirement.