A newly discovered letter describes the influence of David Hall at the presbytery and in the church.
At Midway Presbyterian Church, Senior Pastor David Hall unbiblically divided the Session into factions of “good” elders and “bad” elders, alleges a former ruling elder who served Midway under Hall’s leadership in a hand-signed letter.
The letter, written by RE Jackson, was recently acquired by the Midway Guardian. It’s published in full at the end of this article.
“These ‘good’ elders were those who would vote with the pastor,” wrote the former elder, “while the ‘bad’ elders were those who would vote in opposition to the pastor’s proposals.”
Jackson, confessing with clear regret that he used to be one of the insiders, explains how David Hall exerted his influence over his faction of “good” elders to “circumvent the regular function of church government.”
A common technique, he said, was to have a pre-Session meeting at a local Chinese restaurant called The House of Lu. To receive an invitation to these dinner meetings, the elder claims, “was to be allowed into David Hall’s inner circle.”
Jackson explains how Hall’s insiders would meet, discuss the session agenda, and strategize about how to block or defeat efforts that might undermine or “oppose Pastor Hall’s own personal agenda.”
He provides a specific example in which he participated, helping to interfere and bury a motion that would have hindered “what Pastor Hall considered his freedom as head pastor.”
INFLUENCE OVER THE NORTHWEST GA PRESBYTERY
But Hall’s influence exceeded the bounds of the church and enveloped the Northwest Georgia Presbytery (NWGP) as well, Jackson claims. He found out just how influential Hall was at presbytery when, after finding himself on the outs and now one of the “bad” elders, he filed a complaint against the presbytery.
The SJC remanded the issues to the presbytery to “dispose of them in a constitutional manner.”
Unfortunately, Jackon’s case was referred to the NWGP’s administrative committee, on which sat “several members from MPC, including David Hall himself,” wrote Jackson. “To my knowledge, none of them recused themselves.”
The letter is a little over a year old, dated November 10, 2020, one day before the Midway Session conducted a secret trial and removed RE Dudt, a presumably “bad” elder, from his office. Jackson, who last served on Hall’s session in 2013, wrote the statement in an apparent attempt to help RE Dudt, predicting that he would “suffer the consequences of Pastor Hall’s ire.”
A little over a day after Jackson signed his letter, the Midway session convicted RE Dudt and removed him from the session.
One of the “bad” elders mentioned in Jackson’s letter was RE Scott, who was recently indicted by the Midway Session and suspended from office. He is awaiting trial. The other “bad” elder mentioned, RE Tippins, was the author of the 40-5 report which asked the SJC to hold the NWGP accountable for its actions. He was joined by RE Scott and two other elders who were also subsequently indicted and suspended by the Session.
Whether there is an “insider” shadow session made up of “good” elders that vote for Hall’s agenda that still meets at restaurants is unknown.
However, in response to RE Dudt’s email to the congregation in which he claimed the Session’s decision to elect three associate pastors was “hastily established,” the Session in its indictment said “Mr. Dudt did not accurately represent the Session’s process or position.”
Was RE Dudt not privy to the Session’s true process?
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned” (Titus 3:10-11).