Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pastor Admits Having AIDS And Adultery With Members, Refuses To Step Down After Being Fired

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A married Alabama pastor, Rev. Juan Demetrius McFarland of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church has confessed to his congregation that he discovered he had HIV over 10 years ago but continued to have adulterous sexual relationships with several parishioners without informing them.

The reverend, with 23 years of leadership as a pastor, made these confessions on the pulpit in a series of sermons. He also admitted to mismanaging church funds, and using drugs. Many of his members feel he deserves to be fired but the pastor disagrees.

McFarland first revealed to worshipers on September 14 that he contracted HIV in 2003 and discovered in 2008 he had AIDS. On the following Sundays, he opened up more and more about his drug use and money mismanagement. That was when members and leaders decided they'd had enough of him.

A church member, Deacon Williams told WBTV , he's been a member of the church for 70 years, and this is the biggest scandal the church has ever experienced.

"He confessed to the entire membership and then to the City of Montgomery, because as soon as he got done confessing, it went all over Montgomery anyway," Williams said. "So it's nothing we [are] making up. It's coming out of his mouth." 
An unnamed member added;

“I know a young lady who is a member of the church who says she has slept with him and that she didn’t want this to go public, and she running out now trying to find out if there is anything wrong with her. And my heart goes out to her because she’s been a wonderful church member, and then for something like this to happen. The fact that he didn’t tell them at all. That’s a crime in itself.”

Indeed, according to the law McFarland could possibly face low-level misdemeanour charges of knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease.

However, a bigger battle is brewing in the church between the pastor and those who want him to step down.

On Oct 5, the church membership voted 80-1 to remove McFarland as pastor but he has refused to step down.

Deacon Williams told WSFA that while the congregation had been initially concerned about McFarland's health when he confessed he was HIV-positive, they are now not happy that he has refused to be fired or step down. Instead the pastor has tried to appoint a new set of deacons, and wants those who do not support him to leave the church.

"He said he was in control and there was nothing we could do to stop him."

When the church leaders tried to change the locks on the door after the resolution to remove the pasto, they were confronted by McFarland and a supporter who declared they were banned from the premises and would face "castle law" if they tried to attend services.

Said the deacons' lawyer, Kenneth Shinbaum.

"They're worried if they show up to church, they could get shot. Unless the pastor steps down voluntarily, this may very well end up in court."

Do you think the members should insist on removing this pastor, or should they go to another church?

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