Rev. Dr. Sid Hall, III has served as the lead minister of Trinity Church of Austin since 1988. He is a pastor, activist, and writer.
Rev. Hall is an ordained minister in the Rio Texas Conference of the UMC and has clergy standing in the Heart of Texas Association and the South Central Conference of the UCC. He has been a leader in the Reconciling Ministries Network (the movement within the UMC for the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons), and he served on the RMN national board of directors from 1996 to 2002. He was one of the 15 original clergy signers of “In All Things Charity” in 1997 calling for the UMC to become fully inclusive of LGBT people. He has had the privilege of being arrested for civil disobedience with MLK’s daughter and Gandhi’s grandson.
A native of Kokomo, Indiana, and Bay View, a Methodist Chautauqua in Northern Michigan, Rev. Hall has served congregations in Indiana and Texas since 1979. He was appointed as a Student Local Pastor in 1979, ordained as a deacon in 1981, and ordained as an elder in 1986—each in the United Methodist Church. In 2015, Rev. Hall was also granted standing as an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
Rev. Hall was elected to the UMC delegation of Jurisdictional–General Conference from Southwest Texas for three quadrennials. He has served on various boards such as the Political Asylum Project of Austin, the Texas Freedom Network, Austin’s Reading Is Fundamental, The Mayor’s Task Force on Human Rights, and was Vice President of the Texas Conference of Churches. For many years he was the Co-Chair of the Texas Conference of Churches Jewish-Christian Forum.
Rev. Hall currently serves on two national boards: Equity for Women in the Church and Creation Spirituality Communities (CSC). He is President of the Board of CSC. Sid also serves on the Nominations Committee of the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ and on the UCC Heart of Texas Association’s Ministry Committee.
Rev. Hall holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Religion from the University of Indianapolis, a Master of Theology Degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and a Doctorate in Liberation Preaching and Holocaust Studies, also at Southern Methodist University.
Rev. Hall is also the author of Christian Anti-Semitism and Paul’s Theology: A Christian Liberation Theology of the Jewish People (Fortress Press, 1993) and is co-author of a book with James Harrington entitled Three Mystics Walk into a Tavern: A Once and Future Meeting of Rumi, Meister Eckhart, and Moses de León in Medieval Venice (Hamilton Books, 2015).
Rev. Hall is currently writing a book about what it means to be a progressive, values-centered church. It is titled Breath to Bone: Sustaining Values for the 21st Century Church. 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 for online blogs, genealogy publications, and the Indiana Military History Journal.
Rev. Hall has been an adjunct professor at the Wisdom School of Graduate Studies at Ubiquity University. He is currently an adjunct professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and a faculty member of the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality in Boulder, Colorado. He is a national speaker in the areas of Holocaust Studies, LGBTQ Inclusion in the church, and Earth-based ritual and worship in the church.
Among other awards, Rev. Hall is the recipient of the first annual Jewish Community Friendship Award by the Jewish Federation of Austin (1991), the UMC Southwest Texas Conference Bishop’s Ecumenical Award (2000), Metropolitan Community Church of Austin Saints Alive Award (2002), the Community Achievement Award for Justice by the SWTC of the UMC chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (2011), and in 2017, the MFSA Rio Texas Conference UMC Champion of Clergy Equality Award. He and Trinity Church have been featured in numerous magazine and newspaper articles, including The Guardian, The New Republic, The Advocate, Out Magazine, Open Hands, and Creation Spirituality. Trinity and Rev. Hall were profiled in Time Magazine (July 3, 2000) for their groundbreaking actions regarding gay marriage.
Rev. Hall’s favorite hobbies are hiking, sailing, and genealogy research.
Rev. Hall is married to Mary Pratt, an Austin psychotherapist and an adjunct professor at Huston-Tillotson University. The couple have four grown children and two grandchildren. Daughter Rachel is an artist in St. Paul, Minnesota. Married to Evan, they have two children, Leo and Juniper. Son David is a music journalist and staff photographer/writer for The Austin Chronicle. Son Daniel is a geologist at Exxon Mobil in Spring, Texas. His wife, Dylana, also a geologist, teaches middle school science. Daughter Angela is a graduate student in Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin and is also the Interim Children’s Director here at Trinity Church of Austin.
Rev. Hall, better known to parishioners as 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 email@example.com or call him at the church office: 512-459-5835 and press 3.
To obtain a copy of Sid’s book, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.