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Church Culture

Prescription Drug Abuse is Cause of JD Hall’s Disqualification, Church Says

On Monday afternoon (June 27), Fellowship Baptist Church (FBC) of Sidney, Montana, released a statement disclosing their pastor Jordan “JD” Hall disqualified himself from pastoral ministry due to a dependency on the prescription Xanax.

FBC Sidney’s statement comes one day after one of Hall’s publications, Protestia, announced they had parted ways with Hall because of his pastoral disqualification.

Church leadership shared that following an incident on Sunday, June 5, they became aware Hall had “fallen into a dependency upon prescription alprazolam (Xanax), characterized by use that exceeded his prescribed dosage.”

On June 8, Hall resigned as FBC Sidney’s lead pastor, because he believed his dependency resulted in him being disqualified from eldership. The church body voted to accept Hall’s resignation during a business meeting.

Hall, who named former SBC president J.D. Greear as 2019’s worst Christian of the year, attempted to resign after his traffic stop in May, which had resulted in a DUI arrest, but the church rejected it. Hall’s blood alcohol level was 0.00 upon being pulled over but was cited for driving under the influence of drugs.

“I was not using alcohol or any other kind of illegal narcotic or recreational drug,” Hall had said, claiming his inability to pass a field sobriety test was due to a Vitamin D deficiency.

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“The deacons and elders met yesterday and rejected his resignation in consultation with three well-respected and Godly pastors of other churches,” FBC Sidney’s leadership wrote in May.

At the time, the church’s council determined that Hall was exhausted and potentially addicted to working. They advised him to take a three-month sabbatical. Hall was also instructed to change his phone number, so he wouldn’t be bothered by outsiders.

FBC Sidney’s June 27 statement explained that Hall’s latest resignation was distinct from his rejected attempt in May.

“Due to the testimony of Pastor Hall regarding a known vitamin deficiency that he insisted was to blame for his lack of coordination, the church had voted unanimously to reject his resignation, believing that the situation did not disqualify him from the pastorate,” the church said.

“The church decided, instead, to insist that Pastor Hall submit to a minimum 3-month sabbatical to address his physical health issues,” the statement continued. “The results of a toxicology screening requested by law enforcement were pending (the results of the screening are still outstanding at the time of this writing), and the church agreed to revisit his qualification if the report found problematic substances in his system, but no member vocalized any suspicion of drug abuse.”

FBC Sidney said if they had been aware of Hall’s prescription drug abuse during the time of his attempted resignation in May, their decision likely would have been different.

“However, we believe that we acted appropriately given the information we had at the time,” the church said.

Hall is currently under church discipline, the church stated, and leadership has encouraged him to seek professional treatment to “work toward the restoration of his mind and body, and the reconciliation of his relationships with God and family.”

“Your prayers for the Hall family along with wisdom regarding this situation as it unfolds, are coveted,” the statement concluded.

This article was originally published at ChurchLeaders.com. It is reprinted with permission.