Founder of Far-Right ‘Discernment’ Blog Arrested on DUI and Weapons Charges

By Sarah Einselen
J.D. Hall
Jordan Daniel “J.D.” Hall, publisher of Protestia and pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Sidney, Montana, is disqualified from ministry due to a dependency on Xanax, his church said. (Source: video screen grab)

J.D. Hall, a pastor and publisher of a far-right “discernment” blog known for its vitriolic attacks on “heretics,” “woke” preachers, and “feminists,” was arrested last week on DUI and weapons charges, local police say.

Hall’s church, however, says his drunk-like behavior stemmed from a medical condition, not from substance abuse.

Police arrested Jordan Daniel “J.D.” Hall, 40, late Wednesday night in the town of Sidney near the Montana-North Dakota state line, according to Sidney police records.

The records show Hall was charged with carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence of drugs and a first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs. He also received a couple warnings about traffic offenses, documents show.

Hall pastors Fellowship Baptist Church in Sidney and is publisher of “Protestia,” formerly Pulpit & Pen. The blog renamed after Facebook banned the Pulpit & Pen site. Hall also heads the Gideon Knox Group, which runs a church-based collection of media sites and other media ministries, including the Polemics Report, the Bible Thumping Wingnut podcast network, and an AM radio station. He also founded the Montana Daily Gazette, a conservative news site.

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Police allege in charging documents that Hall failed to stop at the stop bar in an intersection and crossed into a bike lane. When police pulled him over, the officer reportedly noticed Hall stumbled and slurred his speech and “performed very poorly” on field sobriety tests. A blood alcohol test did not detect alcohol in Hall’s system, the records show.

While arresting him, police reportedly found a handgun holstered under Hall’s coat, leading to the DUI-related weapons charge.

Fellowship Baptist announced today that Hall had tendered his resignation, but the church leaders and the congregation rejected it.

Hall has a medical condition “which can result in poor coordination, slurred speech, word displacement, etc.,” the church indicated in a statement posted today to its website.

“This medical issue has been discussed openly for some time and has been the subject of our church’s prayers. Nonetheless, Pastor Hall felt responsibility for bringing the stain of rumor upon the church and thus offered his resignation.”

Fellowship Baptist deacons and elders rejected Hall’s resignation after consulting three other pastors and determining the incident “was not ministerially disqualifying.”

However, the church council determined Hall was exhausted and needed to rest for three months. It delegated Hall’s responsibilities to others and gave his wife the authority to decide when he would be well enough to return to work.

Leadership briefed the congregation at a business meeting Sunday, according to the church’s statement. The congregation also voted unanimously to reject Hall’s resignation and affirm the church council’s decision.

Montana law allows anyone to carry a concealed weapon, subject to other laws, like one prohibiting concealed carry while intoxicated. The state doesn’t require a permit to purchase or carry firearms.

The controversial pastor has faced numerous accusations of bullying over the years.

In 2014, he reportedly repented for cyber-bullying a teen who had died by suicide.

Hall now is facing potential court sanctions over allegations he tried to bully a lobbyist into dropping a libel suit against him. The lobbyist sued Hall’s Montana news outlet late last year, alleging Hall libeled the lobbyist in an article the outlet refused to retract.

Hall filed for bankruptcy in February, the day before a judge was to hear testimony about Hall’s alleged bullying.

Hall has been a very outspoken critic of the Southern Baptist Convention for being too liberal. Last week, he published a tweet threatening that “me and my boys will control the mics, and rebuke is on the agenda.” Hall also threatened litigation if the SBC makes “any attempt to silence us.”

Hall also made Montana headlines earlier this year after leading a rally at the Montana state capital commemorating the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Hall has been an outspoken critic of The Roys Report, especially our exposés of John MacArthur, which Hall equated with persecuting the church.

Sarah Einselen is an award-winning writer and editor based in Texas.

Bob Smietana contributed to this story.

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51 thoughts on “Founder of Far-Right ‘Discernment’ Blog Arrested on DUI and Weapons Charges”

  1. I wonder if David Morrill will write a hard-hitting, no-holds-barred exposé for Protestia, proving that (a) they are a legitimate, objective, bias-free news source; and (b) he is a better journalist than Julie Roys.

  2. All these attacks he has had against liberals, gays, pro choice folk, CRT supporting folk, and it turns out he is a drunken bully. Sad to say, I am not surprised, disappointed, but not surprised in the slightest. Hopefully, the same grace he will ask God for, he will learn to apply it to the very folks he sought to attack.

    1. Did you read the above article? It clearly states that he was not drunk. He has a well documented medical condition. As for bullying, reproving and rebuking are commanded by God and Paul providing a few examples of defending the truth. Was Paul a bully? Was Jesus bullying when he threw the money changers out of the temple or when he called the Pharisees “A brood of vipers”

        1. Mark Gunderson

          According to the church’s statement, “vitamin D deficiency.” I suppose if the elders knew he had a medical condition depriving him of his full faculties, they might have advised him against driving or carrying a firearm.

          They conclude with what sounds to me like unquestioning support:

          “He cautioned us solemnly to be ready for what enemies of Christ would do with his situation and to brace themselves. 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.”

          1. I have a severe Vitamin D deficiency and have been taking a prescription supplement for years. My doctor told me that 68% of the US population has this. It is a very common condition. I wouldn’t exactly call it a medical condition.

        2. Mark Zimmerman

          The statement by Hall’s church that is linked in the article names his medical condition as vitamin D deficiency. As a cause of Hall’s impaired state while driving this is utter nonsense, while the statement points to a lame attempt by the church to cover for Hall, no matter how unbelievable the explanation.

          Perhaps if Hall would walk in the Light more, he wouldn’t have “vitamin D deficiency.”

          1. Brian Patrick

            If the “vitamin D deficiency” statement is true, then (unless there is a phenomenon I don’t understand) this is ridiculous and he needs to own up to what he did, if indeed he really was under the influence of something non-medical. That doesn’t change the fact that Hall has had a target on his back for ages for being an unapologetic Biblical conservative…

          2. @Brian: So being an unapologetic Biblical conservative means you cannot be criticized for being a litigious bully who harasses teenagers?

            When you make a name for yourself by targeting others, especially when there’s little to no actual discernment involved, then you should expect to be called out for it.

      1. Yeah I read it but didn’t make my point properly clear (too bad there isn’t an edit button, so totally on me). With that in mind he is still responsible. He was still negligent and drove while impaired. He knew he wasn’t feeling well before he got behind the wheel of that car. But he did it anyway. He should have taken an Uber/Lyft or called someone. God forbid he ended up in an accident. He could have lost his life and/or taken someone else’s. Also he was a bully. He wasn’t speaking truth. Just political talking points that were hateful in nature. Paul wasn’t embedding worldly politics with Christ’s teaching. There is a difference with what Paul/Jesus did. They were stern, but kept it scriptural and focused on religious leaders. J.D didn’t do that. He attacked anyone and everyone (including the owner of this website), whose ideals doesn’t match his political agenda and those who support it. That is bullying. When the author of this website came out with a piece that exposed MacArthur, J.D was helping lead the charge in attacking her all because she (and others) desired to hold MacArthur accountable for his actions. J.D bullies people, I myself had a run in with him on his FB page. He and his cronies called me a Marxist and everything all because I believe in the phrase (not the organization, but the phrase) “black lives matter”. Jesus/Paul would never do something that callous.

  3. Charles Johnson

    J.D. Hall, how could he be charged with a DUI ?
    A blood alcohol test did not detect alcohol in Hall’s system, the records show.

    1. Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight)

      The “I” in DUI is influence. It could be alcohol; it could be drugs.

      Even a person who takes a prescriptive drug can be charged with DUI if it has influenced his driving.

  4. Thank you Julie for reporting all the TRUTH of the situation and yes praying for JD however let’s hope he returns the courtesy by reporting the TRUTH about Julie back

  5. james buckley

    he was under the influence of drugs, Im sure illegal drugs as he offered his resgnation, who would offer thier resignation for a prescription drug? next he was charged with illegal firearms, on both of these he is disqualified from being a pastor as the bible says a pastor MUST have a good reputation and be blameless.. NEXT, arent these reformed churches always talking about how EVERY christian must be a member of a local church and be under the leadership of elders who will hold them accountable?? well, WHO is holding J.D. Hall accountable OR his churches elders accountable?? caught with illegal firearms and arrested on DUI and he gets a 3 month vacation and can return anytime his wife says its ok?? WHERE is the accountability? these elders are YES men,

    1. Did you even bother to read the article? You have obviously not read the part of the Bible that says to give the benefit of the doubt. Read the article. He has a well documented medical condition. He was NOT under the influence of any drugs nor alcohol.

      1. james buckley

        2 things you are missing, 1) he was charged with illegal firearms, this disqualifies him from being a pastor. 2) if I were charged with a DUI for say being subscribed a legal drug for a medical condition I had I would never ever even think about resigning as pastor, he did thereby admitting guilt. .

        1. Brian Patrick

          James Buckley,

          A lot of cops arrest first and ask questions later, and leave matters to the courts to figure out. We do have an issue with out-of-control, judge/jury/executioner-style policing in the USA. (That’s one area where I do agree with progressive reformers and activists.) Maybe the arrest of Mr. Hall was totally justified, but we don’t know that just yet.

          Either the guy has a real medical condition or was affected by some kind of medication. Why don’t you let all the facts come out before rushing to crucify?

          1. james buckley

            ok, we see now that his chiurch claims his medical condition was a vitimin D defiency, hmmm, here is a link giving possible symptoms of vitimin D defiency…. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15050-vitamin-d–vitamin-d-deficiency#symptoms-and-causes . NOTE, NONE of these symptoms are drunkeness or drug like symptoms, they are depression, achey bones, and fatiuge.. next, if this was the reason WHY did he offer to resign from his church over something that wasnt a sin?? OH, he was also charged with weapons charges whick means he is NOT blameless or of good reputation which are the qualifications for being a pastor or for running a decernment ministry. IMO though J.D. hall is far less guilty than his church members and elders who have made him into an idol much like macarthur supporters. as long as he pushes culture war politics they love him and his integrity and sins dont matter.

          2. Mark Gunderson

            James the weapons charge isn’t quite what it sounds like. Montana allows conceal carry for adults without a permit, unless forbidden by another law. Because he was, in the officer’s judgment, under the influence, he was not legally allowed to be carrying at that time.

            The consequences, if he could be reasonably expected to understand he was or would be impaired, are similar to carrying without a permit in a more moderate state. But it doesn’t have the same ring to it because he would otherwise have been legally carrying (for whatever reason a pastor really needs to be carrying a handgun in the first place).

            The church should be grateful to the officer for pulling him over before he injured himself or others with either his vehicle or firearm, given his impairment. And I don’t mean just on that one occasion, I mean moving forward.

            As much as I dislike Hall for his cruel speech and behavior, it is possible he has an undiagnosed or developing medical condition. The vitamin deficiency thing sounds like a red herring from someone who either doesn’t want to get a real checkup or is covering a bigger issue. I wouldn’t rule out substance abuse or just known side effects for prescription dosage (opioids have similar side effects to alcohol) but there are other explanations too.

            If anything good comes from this, perhaps he’ll sit the SBC convention out, rather than his stated plan of “me and my boys will control the mics and rebuke is on the agenda.”

  6. Brian Patrick

    “A blood alcohol test did not detect alcohol in Hall’s system, the records show.” That says it all right there. End of story.

    Is it SO impossible to believe that this guy (you so clearly don’t like) was having a medical episode?

    1. Mark Gunderson

      Brian, Hall presents a macho caricature of himself completely out of line with the New Testament depiction of a believer, much less of a pastor. He screams “insecure.” He is one of those pastors who has a relatively obscure and small ministry but has a larger online audience drawn to this “frontier justice” style of Christianity.

      He could be completely innocent of these charges but has still disqualified himself many times over for being quarrelsome and domineering.

      1. Brian Patrick

        Mark Gunderson,

        “He could be completely innocent of these charges but has still disqualified himself many times over for being quarrelsome and domineering.”

        Have you read any of Jesus’ parables, or any of his invective against the religious phonies of his day? God on earth said that the unforgiving debtor needed to be tortured, after all. I’m pretty sure that anything Hall has said pales in comparison (and I don’t agree with a lot of it–such as his attacks on Nabeel Qureshi).

  7. From the article on his commemorating the January 6 riot:

    (Hall) explained on his website, the Montana Daily Gazette, that people would gather to honor Ashli Babbitt, a woman shot and killed by U.S. Capitol Police while attempting to get into the Speaker’s Lobby on January 6, as well as those incarcerated or charged with crimes related to the riot.

    And he was worried about the stain on the church from his DUI?

    I don’t think he knows the Jesus of the Bible.

    1. I can understand people supporting the rioters. Their treatment is redolent of fascist dictatorship, not the Constitution of the USA. It is a serious blot on the US traditions of justice.

      1. The Jan 6 rioters sent 140 police officers to the hospital and tried to overthrow our government. They deserve prison. They do not deserve to be lionized by fake Christian leaders.

        Those people and the Republican and Christian leaders who support them are a blot on America and do not represent the Jesus of the Bible.

  8. Was Jesus being a bully when he told the Pharisees that the were of their father the devil, or when he called them a brood of vipers? No, he speaking the truth. Defending the truth is labeled bullying by those who don’t like the truth.

    1. Brian Patrick

      Mark Walker,

      Thank you.

      I probably don’t see eye-to-eye with Pastor Hall on many things but similarly to Doug Wilson–he gets nailed to the wall first and foremost because of his unpopular political beliefs that are countercultural. (Because God in the flesh, the founder of Christianity, absolutely NEVER was countercultural, right?)

      There’s a serious problem when allegedly impartial discernment ministries glom onto that and join the progressive outrage pitchfork mob.

      1. Was Jesus being a bully when he told the Pharisees that the were of their father the devil, or when he called them a brood of vipers? No, he speaking the truth. Defending the truth is labeled bullying by those who don’t like the truth.

        1. Marin Heiskell

          We are to speak the truth in love. Not speak the truth in such a hateful, condescending manner that a child – yes, a teenager is a child – feels the best reaction is suicide or self-harm. We are to call others to repentance, not suicide.
          It is sad that the response of a Christian over a teen suicide is “but JD was right!” No compassion, just obsession over being right. That isn’t righteous. That’s pride and ego.
          Even JD Hall knew he had gone too far and repented. I pray you see that there is nothing right or righteous about driving anyone to suicide….”in the name of truth.”
          That’s cultish.

        2. Mark. This guy is a hypocrite, just like the Pharisees. I would never endanger someone else’s life by driving in this state he did. He admits to be guilty. We have laws against this for a reason. A car can be a deadly weapon. Yet you defend a jerk who looks nothing at all like the real Jesus Christ. This guy is a malignant narcissist blowing his own name sake. There is no humility. But too many Christians love their jerks, want to be like them! I call that a highway to hell. This is goat behavior in a nutshell.

          1. Brian Patrick

            Ralph Jesperson,

            You don’t know Mr. Hall’s heart, you don’t know the exact circumstances of his arrest, and you don’t know that he did anything wrong whatsoever.

      2. Brian Patrick

        Greg Culross,

        I’m sure that Jesus’ Pharisaical and Sadduceical critics during his fleshly sojourn would have also accused him of “bullying”–particularly in regards to the moneychangers incident, etc.

        I don’t know the facts of Hall’s alleged bullying and neither do you, but it looks like the late Braxton Caner was a willing participant in this Twitter beef on behalf of his dad, who has been accused of wrongdoing as much as Hall has.

        As Mark Walker said above–anyone who uncompromisingly stands for Biblical truth gets branded a bully, bigot, misogynist, racist, etc. in 2022.

        1. Mark Gunderson

          “the late Braxton Caner was a willing participant in this Twitter beef on behalf of his dad, who has been accused of wrongdoing as much as Hall has.”

          Who cares! Hall was an adult, and a pastor and he acted like neither. The suicide victim he mistreated was neither. Resist the urge to make excuses for your heroes!

          1. Brian Patrick

            Mark Gunderson,

            Have you followed anything I’ve wrote? I have a lot of differences with Hall (even though he is ultimately my brother that I will defend). Anyone who commits suicide over the course of a consensual, equal Twitter feud had preexisting mental health issues, period.

            I’m not sure that the progressive attack dogs ripping away at Hall, Wilson, Feucht etc. are my brethren at all.

          2. Brian Patrick

            Mark Gunderson,

            You can’t “mistreat” a willing participant in an online feud. As to whether it was wise for him to engage with a teen… that’s between him and God. I don’t recall the media moving to shield Sandmann, Kashuv, etc. from any and all criticism for their positions. “Think of the children” only ever seems to work one way.

            And, the last time I checked Paul was very clear that a woman can’t be the pastor over a whole, mixed church.

          3. Mark Gunderson

            You’re making excuses for him again.

            Do you know why it never occurred to your own complementarian pastor to grab a buddy and show up at an egalitarian church and disrupt the service and get dragged out? Because it’s a juvenile and counterproductive thing to do.

            Tell me what why you think it’s okay for a pastor to mock someone’s speech impediment.

            He’s. A. Bully.

          4. Mark,

            You will never get anywhere these days identifying a “man of God” as a bully.

            Wrath, envy, pride and greed used to be deadly sins. Today they are marks of a “true Christian leader who stands up against workeness.”

  9. As I read the report and the comments, I wonder if many churches consider carefully Paul’s words in Philippians 2:1-4.

  10. The Vitamin D deficiency excuse is lame. If they were going to lie, they should have thought a bit deeper about this. Opiates can definitely contribute to this type of behavior. If you take one too many of a prescription, you can be impaired. I am not saying this was the cause, only that opiates can mimic these behaviors. Hopefully, he will tell it like it is in court and then go from there. Showing some remorse is always helpful :)

    Please, no talk of Satan attacking or being persecuted. This does not go over well with the court.

  11. J. D. Hall is an SBC Pastor. IMO he is a horrible example of a Pastor. SBC Pastors can do just about whatever they want to without any consequences. But if you dare to believe a Woman can be a Pastor you are thrown out. The SBC is no where near what she used to be.

  12. Gordon Hackman

    In my opinion, J.D. Hall is the sort of person who seeks out and thrives on attention and controversy. I don’t see him exemplifying the character qualities the New Testament calls Christians and Christina leaders to display. I think he is best ignored.

  13. Christina Joy

    Jordan Hall and Judge Luke Savage are old friends and their houses border each other, so they’re neighbors too. Savage will probably hear the case. so the corrupt Jordan Hall will continue to deceive stupid people everywhere. Warning everyone to beware of Calvinists and their man-made religion. 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
    2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
    3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

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