(RNS) — A controversial Montana pastor who founded a conservative Christian polemics website has admitted to publishing a false story about a trans activist.
Jordan “J.D.” Hall, best known as the voice of the Pulpit&Pen, which was later renamed Protestia, was sued last year for libel after another one of his publications, the Montana Gazette, published a story about Adrian Jawort, a Native American activist. In that story, Hall had called Jawort a “transvestite Goth” and accused Jawort of threatening a state senator.
As part of a settlement, Hall admitted the story was fabricated and apologized, according to the Great Falls Tribune. The libel suit was dismissed, with the agreement Jawort will be able to make a claim of $250,000 against Hall, who is currently in bankruptcy.
Hall also posted a note on the Montana Gazette website.
“I apologize to Adrian Jawort,” he wrote. “The information I published about Adrian was false. Adrian did not threaten or harass Senator Butch Gillespie. I regret the error and sincerely apologize to Adrian for publishing it.”
Hall, who has spent years warning that liberals were taking over the Southern Baptist Convention and other evangelical churches, was arrested in mid-May on DUI and weapons charges. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges and has claimed he suffers from a vitamin deficiency.
The church rejected his resignation but announced it has put Hall on leave for three months and he cannot return to the pastorate without the approval of his wife.
“The congregation spoke openly to assure Pastor Hall he should not be ashamed, that we do not care what the world thinks, as we know the truth,” the church said in a statement.
This article originally appeared here.