On Monday (July 25), Fellowship Baptist Church (FBC) of Sidney, Montana, released a statement explaining they have removed their former pastor Jordan “J.D.” Hall from the church’s membership due to “a failure to demonstrate repentance for sins that he had committed against his family, his church, and his God.”
The decision came as a result of a church vote stemming from an incident that became publicly known in May of this year after Hall was arrested and charged with a DUI. Hall submitted his resignation after his arrest, but it was rejected by the church. At the time, the church did not believe their pastor had done anything to disqualify himself from ministry.
Following his arrest, Hall claimed that peculiar behavior that resulted in his poor performance during a field sobriety test was owing to a severe vitamin D deficiency. Approximately one month later, FBC Sidney released a statement disqualifying Hall from pastoral ministry, because he was addicted to Xanax, a prescription anxiety medication.
The alleged abuse can be viewed in an incident report filed by the Sidney Police Department on June 23. That same report shows that Hall has been accused of embezzling over $10,000 from the church. Both incidents are currently under investigation.
“Due to a steady barrage of harassment and accusations levied against the members of FBC Sidney, we thought it appropriate to briefly clear-up some misconceptions that have circulated regarding the situation, the decisions that have been made by our leadership, and the motivations behind those decisions,” the church’s July 25 statement read.
Church leadership shared that they were unaware of Hall’s drug addiction until June 5, but they have heard from others since that time who suspected the pastor was addicted to Xanax.
Describing the first time Hall’s addiction became evident, church leadership wrote, “On the morning of June 5th, Jordan and his family arrived to the church to attend Sunday service. He had been on compulsory sabbatical for nearly three weeks at this point; we had seen him come in fatigued and disoriented before under the guise of a diagnosed vitamin deficiency (folks would consistently and lovingly express concern to him and his wife), but this day seemed especially severe.”
It was only after they conducted a “lengthy interrogation” that Hall “reluctantly admitted” that his addiction to Xanax was what was causing his intoxication. The church sent him home to rest, and men in the church visited him later that evening.
The statement explained that church leadership informed Sidney Police and DPHHS/CFSD of possible abuse as soon as they were made aware of the accusations of abuse made by members of Hall’s immediate family.