The founder of a controversial Christian website called "Pulpit & Pen" that was rebranded to be called "Protestia" is no longer on the list of pastors at Fellowship Baptist Church in Sydney, Montana. Pastor Jordan Daniel "J.D." Hall's name can no longer be found on the list of pastors on the church's website.
According to the Religion News Service, Fellowship Baptist Church in Montana has not yet publicly acknowledged Hall's departure, but on Sunday, it appeared that the church took down the leadership page on its website. On the very same day, Protestia issued a statement that revealed Hall's resignation as pastor of Fellowship Baptist and that he was "disqualified from pastoral ministry."
Controversial Pastor 'Disqualified from Pastoral Ministry,' Statement Read
According to the statement posted by Protestia, their team earlier this week "received allegations of serious sin committed by our brother JD Hall." Following discussions with leadership at Fellowship Baptist Church, they were informed that Hall had "disqualified himself from pastoral ministry, had resigned from the pastorate, and submitted himself to a process of church discipline."
Protestia said in the statement that because he was removed from pastoral ministry, the organization also decided to "[remove] him from ministry" with them. Protestia added that because Hall resigned from pastoral ministry, they have now been forced to "consider the allegations against him to be credible." Furthermore, the group added that they are currently "unable to determine their truth with certainty" and cannot speak about the allegations.
Protestia, which describes itself as a "polemical new site" that "[documents] the downgrade of the church," announced several changes following Hall's resignation. First, it would "cease to be a ministry of Fellowship Baptist Church." It would also remove Hall's work on the website, which will be kept in an archive for future access if needed for reference. Finally, the Polemics Report podcast will also cease and will be replaced with a "companion podcast/video ministry."
Troubled Pastor Departs Montana Church
Hall's departure from Fellowship Baptist Church in Montana comes after facing legal troubles. In February, the pastor and blogger filed for bankruptcy after he was sued for a story he wrote in the Montana Gazette, one of his publications. The story was about a Native American activist named Adrian Jawort. Hall later settled with Jawort, retracting the story that caused the lawsuit and issued an apology, claiming that he had in fact fabricated the story. The settlement involved paying a $250,000 claim to Jawort.
In May, Hall was arrested on "suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon and multiple traffic violations while driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs," the Christian Post reported. At the time, Fellowship Baptist Church defended the 40 year old pastor, saying that he "suffered from documented vitamin D deficiency" that caused symptoms of a person intoxicated with drugs or alcohol. Hall filed his resignation, but it was rejected by the church leaders. It is unclear now if his departure is related to his previous missteps.