Rev. Dr. Sidney G. Hall, III is a pastor, writer, activist, husband, father, and grandfather. Since 1988, Sid has served as the senior minister of Trinity United Methodist Church, located in Austin’s historic Hyde Park Neighborhood near the University of Texas. Trinity voted to be a Reconciling Congregation (Welcoming of the LGBTQ community) in 1992 and continues in that public witness. Trinity is also a church that practices Nature-based Spirituality (The idea that all of creation is infused with an innate sacredness) and has an Interfaith Chapel that regularly hosts groups consistent with Trinity’s values from other living spiritual traditions beyond the scope of Christianity.
Rev. Hall has been a leader in the Reconciling Ministries Network (the movement within the UMC for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people) and served on the RMN national board of directors from 1996 to 2002. He was also one of the 15 original clergy signers of “In All Things Charity” in 1997 calling the United Methodist Church into full inclusion for sexual minorities. He has had the privilege of being arrested for civil disobedience along the side of MLK’s daughter and Gandhi’s grandson.
A native of Kokomo, Indiana and Bay View, Michigan, Sid has served United Methodist congregations in Indiana and Texas since 1979. He was elected to the delegation of Jurisdictional – General Conferences from Southwest Texas for three quadrennials. He has served on various other boards such as the Political Asylum Project of Austin, the Texas Freedom Network, Austin’s Reading Is Fundamental, was vice president of the Texas Conference of Churches, and worked on the Austin Mayor’s Task Force on Human Rights. He holds a bachelor’s in History and Religion from the University of Indianapolis, a master’s in Theology and a doctorate in Liberation Preaching and Holocaust Studies, both from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Dr. Hall is the author of “Christian Anti-Semitism and Paul’s Theology: A Christian Liberation Theology of the Jewish People” (Fortress Press, 1993) and is the co-writer with Jim Harringon of the forthcoming book “Three Mystics Walk into a Tavern: A Once and Future Meeting of Rumi, Meister Eckhart, and Moses de León in Medieval Venice” (Hamilton Books: An Imprint of Rowman & Littlefield, April 2015). His scholarship has been cited in publications such as Peter Gomes’s “The Good Book,” Frederick Herzog’s “New Birth of Conscience,” Joerg Rieger’s “Liberating the Future,” Bill Bishop’s “The Big Sort,” and Kelly Turney’s “Shaping Sanctuary.” He has also written in online blogs, genealogy publications, as well as the Indiana Military History journal. He is a national speaker in the areas of Holocaust Studies, LGBTQ Inclusion in the Church, and Nature-based Ritual and Worship in the Church.
Among other awards, he is the recipient of the 1st annual Jewish Community Friendship Award by the Jewish Federation of Austin (1991), the Southwest Texas Conference of UMC Bishop’s Ecumenical Award (2000), MCC Austin Saint’s Alive Award (2002), and the Community Achievement Award for Justice by the SWTC of the UMC chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (2011). Hall has been featured in numerous magazine and newspaper articles, including The Advocate, Out, Open Hands, and Creation Spirituality. He and Trinity were the focus of an article in Time Magazine (July 3, 2000) because of their leadership in the UMC regarding gay marriage.
Sid is married to Mary Pratt, an Austin Psychotherapist. Mary and Sid have four grown children and two grandchildren. Their children are: Rachel, who is an artist and Starbuck’s manager in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. She is married to Evan, a Biologist, who currently works full time as a stay at home dad for their children Leo and Piper; David is a music journalist, freelance writer, and photographer for various entertainment outlets in Austin, Texas as well as a graduate of Chapman University in Orange, California; Daniel is a graduate student in geology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont; and Angela is a voice and choral conducting education major at the University of Central Florida in Orlando with aspirations to be a choir teacher after college.
Sid has been called “a social activist with the heart of a mystic,” but is most comfortable with the designations of “pastor” and “friend.”
To contact Sid, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at the church office, 512-459-5835, ext. 205.
To obtain a copy of Sid’s book, write to email@example.com.