Far-right Montana Pastor Jordan Daniel “J.D.” Hall is blaming his diet after being arrested for driving under the influence.
"A Montana Baptist pastor who has spent years warning that liberals were taking over the Southern Baptist Convention and evangelical churches, was arrested on DUI and weapons charges," Religion News Service reports. "According to a copy of the initial offense report obtained by Religion News Service, Hall was charged at 11 p.m. with driving under the influence and carrying a concealed weapon while intoxicated. The DUI charge is a first offense, according to the report. A Sidney police officer observed Hall driving in a bike lane and pulled him over."
The church has responded to the arrest, Seaborn Larson reported for the Billings Gazette.
"Hall is pastor at Fellowship Baptist Church and publisher of a far-right website," the newspaper reported. "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.'"
The statement says Hall resigned on Thursday, but his resignation was rejected by the church.
"The Church Council met soon after and likewise rejected Pastor Hall’s resignation. The council determined Pastor Hall was exhausted, potentially addicted to working, and must rest, do nothing for 3 months, and change his phone number (to not be bothered by outsiders). Additionally, the Council determined that church elders will handle Pastor Hall’s responsibilities along with a former church member (who had moved away) and lay pastor. Church leadership will place Pastor Hall’s wife in charge of when after that period he is well enough to go back to work, in consultation with the elders," the statement read. "The congregation spoke openly to assure Pastor Hall he should not be ashamed, that we do not care what the world thinks, as that we know the truth."
On Jan. 6, Hall organized a protest at the Montana Capitol honoring those arrested for the attack on the U.S. Capitol a year earlier.
"Homosexuality is a disease-ridden, child-molesting, scat-smothering, disgusting and gross habit. You, as a human being have a right to preferences. You can choose Coke over Pepsi, Chevy over Ford, and the correct orifice over the wrong one. Only a bigot would say otherwise. You believe gayness is grossness. Do you have a right to that opinion? Absolutely," the church's website says.
Hall has a colorful history, The Daily Beast reported in 2020.
"In 2017, Hall was dragged out of a North Dakota church by congregants after loudly protesting that a female pastor was allowed to speak, claiming scripture does not allow for women to preach. The following year, Hall withdrew his church from the Southern Baptist Conference, the world’s largest Protestant denomination, for 'betraying the Gospel in the name of political correctness at the SBC-sponsored MLK50 event.' But Hall’s true claim to infamy came in 2014 for a public clash with fellow Baptist preacher Ergun Caner that escalated to Hall fighting with Caner’s teenage son Braxton on Twitter. Braxton died by suicide soon after, and Hall issued a letter of repentance," The Beast reported.
In February, Hall filed for bankruptcy.