A Sidney church rejected the resignation of its pastor following his arrest for DUI and carrying a concealed weapon while allegedly under the influence last week, according to the Fellowship Baptist Church’s website.
Jordan “J.D.” Hall, 40, pleaded not guilty to the charges in Sidney City Court that resulted from a May 11 traffic stop by Sidney police around 11 p.m.
Hall is pastor at Fellowship Baptist Church and publisher of a far-right website. In a statement posted Monday to the church’s website, which itself is owned by Hall’s Gideon Knox Group, Hall claimed the inebriation noted by the officer in the arrest report was due to a “documented vitamin D deficiency.”
Police reports state Hall’s preliminary breath test showed no alcohol in his system.
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Neither the church’s statement nor the police report indicate where Hall was driving at 11 p.m. or why he was doing so during a vitamin deficiency episode.
According to the church’s statement, Hall tendered his resignation to the church the day after his arrest, but deacons and elders met Sunday and rejected the resignation because no alcohol was found in his system and his health issues have been well known. The church council, too, rejected the resignation, according to the statement.
“This medical issue has been discussed openly for some time and has been the subject of our church’s prayers,” the statement reads. “Nonetheless, Pastor Hall felt responsibility for bringing the stain of rumor upon the church and thus offered his resignation.”
Hall has become a prominent figure in Montana’s far-right religious circles, attending rallies with conservative politicians to protest what they call “the LGBTQ agenda,” and posing with firearms in videos in support of a man whose Flathead Valley property was repossessed by a credit union. He was sued for libel last year by a transgender activist and posted pictures of a space on his wall among his hunting trophies for the “metaphoric head” of the activist’s attorney.
The Fellowship Baptist Church’s website has several posts defending Hall, including a statement from the church leadership “on the persecution of our pastor at the hands of an activist judiciary.” That post came the same week that Hall filed for bankruptcy, stalling the libel suit against him.
In another post, the church offers congregants a step-by-step process to defend themselves from from being called homophobic. If deploying conversation about religious beliefs and freedom of opinion fails, the author writes, “get blunt.”
“Homosexuality is a disease-ridden, child-molesting, scat-smothering, disgusting and gross habit,” the post reads on the church’s website.
Attempts to reach church leaders for comment on this story were unsuccessful.
Hall had not obtained a lawyer for his DUI case as of Monday. His next hearing is scheduled for July 19.