Members of a congregation in Alabama sued their pastor earlier this month after he confessed to having sex with worshippers on the premises of his church, even though he knew he had AIDS. Juan Demetrius McFarland, who served as a pastor at Montgomery’s Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, announced to his congregation last month that he had been infected with HIV in 2003 and by 2008, he had been diagnosed with AIDS.
While the congregation seemed very accepting of McFarland when he initially made the announcement, his next few sermons led the worshippers to push him to step down from his post. Church deacon Nathan Williams Junior read out a resolution in church wherein McFarland, who had served the church for 29 years, admitted to using drugs, misusing church funds and a lot more.
“He concealed from the church that he had knowingly engaged in adultery in the church building with female members of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church while knowingly having AIDS,” Williams said.
Even after admitting to his inappropriate behavior, McFarland refused to step down from his post, which is when the church decided to throw him out by an overwhelming majority. On October 5, in an 80-2 vote, McFarland found himself ousted from the church. Yet, that did not stop him from making appearances at the church or delivering sermons on topics such as divine healing.
The church went on to obtain a legal counsel so it could sue McFarland. He was eventually made to comply with a judge’s orders and return all bank accounts, keys and cars that the church had provided.
“The majority of the members were shocked,” said attorney Julian McPhillips, a lawyer hired by the church. “There were only about 50 people there. But why show up to a church you have been voted out of? A lot of members are intimidated. He has run that church like a dictator over the years.”
Williams said the congregation has been struggling to move on since McFarland’s admissions came to surface.
“We want peace. We are not trying to hurt him. We want to move forward the right way and start healing,” Williams said.
Photo Credits: The Christian Post