More than a month after his arrest on DUI and weapons charges, Fellowship Baptist Church in Sidney, Montana, has removed Pastor Jordan Daniel "J.D." Hall from ministry due to allegations of "serious sin."
While church leaders who staunchly defended Hall after his arrest have yet to make a public statement on his removal, Protestia announced his resignation in a statement on Sunday. The group also revealed that the online publication will no longer function as a ministry of Fellowship Baptist Church.
"Earlier this week, the team at Protestia received allegations of serious sin committed by our brother JD Hall. After correspondence with leadership at Fellowship Baptist Church, we learned that JD was determined by the church to have disqualified himself from pastoral ministry, had resigned from the pastorate, and submitted himself to a process of church discipline," Protestia reported. "Due to JD's removal from pastoral ministry, we likewise have removed him from ministry with Protestia."
Protestia noted that while it appears Fellowship Baptist Church considers the allegations against Hall "credible, we are unable to determine their truth with certainty and therefore cannot speak to all of the specifics of the accusations lest we be guilty of gossip."
A report from the Sidney Police Department cited by The Sidney Herald said Hall, 40, was arrested on May 11 at approximately 11 p.m. on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon and multiple traffic violations while driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs.
An incident report shows that when police approached Hall, he spoke slowly, his eyes were watery, closed slowly and deliberately and his speech was slurred and mumbled.
He also stumbled, displayed poor balance and performed poorly on a field sobriety test. No alcohol, however, was found in his system when a blood alcohol test was administered. He also had a Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Shield handgun which was found under his coat in an inside-the-waistband holster during his arrest, the report added.
Five days after his arrest on May 16, Fellowship Baptist Church said Hall had offered to resign "for bringing the stain of upon the church," but the church rejected his resignation because he did no wrong.
"Pastor Hall tenured his resignation to the church Thursday after being charged with DUI on Wednesday evening. There was no alcohol in his system and he blew 0.0 on the administered breathalyzer. However, police insisted Pastor Hall failed the administered field sobriety test," Fellowship Baptist Church said in the statement.
"Pastor Hall has suffered from documented vitamin D deficiency, which can result in poor coordination, slurred speech, word displacement, etc. This medical issue has been discussed openly for some time and has been the subject of our church's prayers. Nonetheless, Pastor Hall felt responsibility for bringing the stain of rumor upon the church and thus offered his resignation."
Protestia said in its statement that since it relies on local churches to exercise the biblical process of church discipline in the lives of its writers and team, the decision by Fellowship Baptist Church to disqualify Hall from ministry means he is no longer qualified to work with the website.
"We defer to the judgment of men God has placed in positions of local church authority, and a determination of disqualification from ministry for any of our team will result in removal from this ministry as well," the Protestia statement reads.
The statement notes that Protestia will cease to be a ministry of Fellowship Baptist Church, and Hall's writings and work on the site will be removed but archived and available if needed for reference. His "The Polemics Report" podcast will also come to a halt and will be replaced by a similar ministry.
"This is heartbreaking news for the Protestia team, and we pray for wisdom and courage for the leadership of FBC Sidney as they follow the process of church discipline with the goal of repentance, reconciliation, and restoration to fellowship for JD," Protestia said. "Similarly, we are praying for his family during this trying time."