The fractured relationship between Fellowship Baptist Church in Sidney, Montana, and its former pastor, Jordan Daniel "J.D." Hall, over the alleged physical abuse of his family and drug addiction has grown even wider as the church announced Monday that his membership was revoked over a failure to show repentance.
"Effective July 24th, 2022, Fellowship Baptist Church of Sidney, MT, has voted to remove Jordan Hall from membership in poor standing due to a failure to demonstrate repentance for sins that he had committed against his family, his church, and his God," Fellowship Baptist Church leaders noted in a statement online.
"Our petition to the Lord has been and continues to be that Jordan will humbly take responsibility for his actions, cease his attempts at undermining the integrity of the people he sinned against, and commit himself fully to whatever is necessary to rebuild trust among those that he has deceived and abused. Please join us in prayerful hope that Jordan will be humbled through this final act of discipline and will ultimately be restored to fellowship with the Body of Christ."
Hall, a polemics blogger well-known for his scathing criticisms of Christian leaders, was removed as pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church last month over an alleged addiction to the prescription drug Xanax. He was also axed from his polemics website Protestia, which formerly operated as Pulpit & Pen.
Earlier this month, Caleb Snodgrass, an elder at Fellowship Baptist Church who has been serving in that role for approximately four years, told The Christian Post that Hall's wife, Mandy, reported to church officials on June 5 that he physically abused her and her son.
In their statement Monday, church leaders noted that Hall's wife asked them not to report the abuse to authorities. But after reviewing Montana law, the leaders felt it was "necessary for this information to be shared with authorities." They noted that it was not the church's intention to make the abuse public.
"Sidney Police and DPHHS/CFSD were informed by church leadership of accusations that we received of spousal abuse and abuse of a minor child within the Hall family. Note: this information was shared with us by individuals within the Hall family," church officials said.
"Jordan's wife explicitly stated that she did not want us to report it. Through investigation into the Montana statute regarding mandatory reporting for clergy and caregivers within the foster care system (also applicable to individuals in our leadership), we decided it was necessary for this information to be shared with authorities," the statement explained. "In order to protect the victims of the alleged abuse from public scrutiny, we had intended for this information to not be made public."
Hall's troubles that led to his fall from his pulpit began in May when he was arrested on DUI and weapons charges.
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 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.
Fellowship Baptist Church leaders say they were unaware of Hall's drug addiction when they defended him publicly and rejected his initial offer to resign.
The church removed a statement from Hall's wife on the church's public Facebook page rebuking leaders for reporting Hall's physical abuse of her and her son to authorities "to avoid a public discussion of the context behind the post."
"At no point were any of our decisions regarding public comment or the manner in which we conducted church discipline upon Jordan informed by a desire to cover-up sins or to preserve his public persona," the church's statement reads.
"Our main concern was the welfare of our local church, the Hall family, and Jordan's soul, while making our best attempt at handling the situation with integrity to the Scriptures. Our desire to avoid gossip and backbiting led us to weigh carefully what we felt was necessary to share with the prying eyes of the public and when it would be appropriate to make public commentary. We are well aware that many will disagree with our assessment, but we are primarily concerned with our accountability to God and the local church."