Our good friend, brother in Christ, and founder of Pulpit & Pen and Protestia was pulled over by police on the night of Wednesday, May 11th, 2022 and charged with DUI and carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
As many will read this after seeing headlines, ill-informed responses, and accusations from JD Hall detractors, we believed it important to provide some context:
First, JD Hall doesn’t drink. Second, he was pulled over for stopping at an intersection with the front tires of his daughter’s Malibu over the ‘stop line’ which cut into the bike lane, not for some sort of overt, callous reckless driving as some have purported.
Third, JD suffers from medical issues related to severe vitamin D deficiency that can manifest in symptoms that mimic inebriation. This has been discussed a few times on the Polemics Report and is known to his close friends. Those who watch Polemics Report have seen this and have been concerned enough to ask about it, which we appreciate.
Fourth, the police don’t have the ability to assess the contents of anyone’s blood while conducting a traffic stop – they would have had no choice but to charge him and wait for a toxicology report to come back. Once the toxicology results come back, we will eagerly and gladly publish the results in full and have zero compunction about doing so.
JD has pleaded not guilty and yet offered his resignation to his church (of which Protestia is a ministry) to spare them the circus likely to follow the headlines. In response (and in a testament to the fortitude of the Body), the church told him that not only would they not accept his resignation, but that they wanted him to take some time to recharge while they carried forward with the public responsibilities of the Lord’s work. They rallied around their pastor and told the world to go pound sand. The team at Protestia wholeheartedly agrees, and we will not let our hands off the plow.
It’s been no secret that JD has worked himself to a point where it has negatively affected his health, and he has a very hard time saying “no” when people are relying on him. The aforementioned article explained why he was quitting polemics, in part in order to focus on his health, where he recounts falling out of his bed and being unable to put his pants on at a particularly low and vulnerable moment. This is why he has written almost nothing for this website in the last while. Out of the 1500 or so articles we published in the last year, he wrote perhaps a handful of them. Maybe 5 or 6.
Below is the verbatim official statement from Fellowship Baptist Church:
The following statement from Fellowship Baptist Church is made in response to the events of the evening of May 11th, 2022 involving Pastor Hall, and subsequent findings and decisions made by the church.
Pastor Hall tenured his resignation to the church Thursday after being charged with DUI on Wednesday evening. There was no alcohol in his system and he blew 0.0 on the administered breathalyzer. However, police insisted Pastor Hall failed the administered field sobriety test. Pastor Hall has suffered from documented vitamin D deficiency, which can result in poor coordination, slurred speech, word displacement, etc. 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.
The deacons and elders met yesterday and rejected his resignation in consultation with three well-respected and Godly pastors of other churches, as it was unanimously determined that, as no alcohol was used and Pastor Hall’s coordination/health issues have been well known, this unfortunate incident was not ministerially disqualifying. The deacons, elders, and consulted pastors were apprised of Pastor Hall’s prescription medication, health issues, and spiritual, emotional, and physical state, and expressed great concern for his health and overworking.
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.
Subsequently, the congregation was apprised of the situation in a special business meeting after services Sunday. In a unanimous vote, they likewise rejected Pastor Hall’s resignation and voted to affirm the Church Council’s findings.
Pastor Hall spoke to the congregation to say he would submit to their requests, would come or go at our pleasure, and agreed to remain in his office at our request. 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.
Please pray for Pastor Hall and his family during this incredibly stressful season, and continue to pray for us.
Below is the police complaint:
Editor’s Note. Updated to add a clarification about the bike lane.