An elder at Fellowship Baptist Church in Sidney, Montana, says that polemics blogger and former pastor Jordan "JD" Hall embezzled more than $10,000 from the church and was reportedly kicked out of his home last month for physically assaulting his wife and son.
Hall, who criticized Christian leaders on his polemics website Protestia and the now-defunct Pulpit & Pen, was removed as pastor of Fellowship Baptist last month due to his abuse of the medication Xanax.
The church alleged in a June 27 statement that Hall's dependency on the drug was higher than the prescribed dosage. The statement also made mentioned an incident that took place on June 5, just days before he stepped down from the pastorate on June 8. The church has not disclosed full details regarding the incident at this time.
However, Caleb Snodgrass, an elder at Fellowship Baptist Church, told The Christian Post in an interview that Hall's wife, Mandy, kicked him out of the house on June 5 after he physically abused her and their son.
"The night, it [was] June 5, Mandy called some of the deacons to come over. She [had] kicked him [Hall] out of the house at that point. And so that's when she told us the things that we found out about what was going on in the family," Snodgrass told the outlet.
He also noted that the church filed a report after the church leaders realized there were financial irregularities after Hall resigned. According to a police report, the allegation was described as "theft exceeding $10,000 by embezzlement."
So far, reports for the June 5 incident and embezzlement have been filed with the Sidney Police Department. Police shared heavily redacted copies of the reports with The Christian Post on Monday. The reports were filed on June 23. Both allegations remain "under investigation."
Regarding the June 5 incident, Hall reportedly committed "assault with a weapon," which the report described as a "knife/cutting instrument." The former pastor was also accused of strangling "a partner or family member" inside his home.
While the church reported the incident to the Sidney Police Department, Snodgrass said the elders were unaware of how severe Hall's addiction was.
"We didn't know how bad the addiction was," he explained. "And so, we simply said, 'You got to stop [using] Xanax.' And so we really sent him home with his family."
Following the incident on June 5, Hall "was not allowed to go back home," Snodgrass continued.
The elder also noted that the church initially wanted to take Hall to a rehab facility immediately but noted that "it's like a monthlong process to get into one of these places." The elders instead took Hall to the church, "where we've got some bedrooms until we can figure things out."
The next day, the church elders allegedly tried to take Hall to rehab by taking him to an emergency room several hours away, but the move was unsuccessful, Snodgrass said. He added that Hall has since been receiving treatment somewhere near his parents in Missouri.
Snodgrass also says that Hall continues to speak with Mandy, despite now living separately from one another. The church elder added that Hall has become so resistant to church discipline that the former pastor expressed doubt about the validity of the board of elders and deacons.
During the interview with The Christian Post, Snodgrass shared that the church has seen a 50 percent decline from its usual attendance of 50 to 100 people in light of Hall's misconduct.
He also believes that it is highly unlikely that Hall will return to ministry in the future.
"There's no real hope for that," Snodgrass said. "You know, maybe, in my opinion, maybe 10-15 years down the line when things are so totally different. I don't think he would with the group at our church. I don't think he would be welcomed back."
"This whole situation, especially with the family, has exploded," he added. "And it's so, so horrible that and now with the financial stuff that's coming out. He's disqualified himself, and it's a pretty bad disqualification."
Photo courtesy: Ben White/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.