Community/Neighborhood

Alabama pastor admits he has AIDS, slept with church members

Dear Black People, Give them back their Gods.

Excerpt and Update: October 13, 2014

It’s an announcement that left members at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, stunned. The church’s pastor, Juan McFarland, recently admitted he had AIDS and had slept with church members without revealing his condition, according to a report from WSFA-TV.

McFarland was removed as pastor last Sunday.

The WSFA report said McFarland also admitted to drug use and mishandling church funds. McFarland told members of his church he contracted HIV in 2003, which became “full blown” AIDS in 2008.

Al.com reports that McFarland has been pastor at Shiloh since 1990. His biography page is still up on the church’s official website and describes McFarland as “steadfast, immovable [and] always abounding in the work of the Lord.”

Church deacon Nathan Williams, a member of Shiloh for some 70 years, told WSFA he is focused on getting the “church back,” not “hurting” McFarland:

Our moves are going to come directly from counsel. We want peace and we want to do things right, legally. We are not looking to hurt him. We are looking to get the church back. That’s our theme: Get the church back. We want the church back. That’s it.

McFarland himself confirmed the news of his actions and medical condition to WSFA. It is unclear how many people Pastor McFarland may have slept with.

Some unnamed church members in the station’s exclusive report said that some may be fearful of coming forward and exposing what happened.

 

Pastor who admitted he had AIDS refuses to step down, gives Sunday sermon

The last place you would expect Juan McFarland to be on Sunday was at the pulpit.

But that’s exactly where the pastor was, despite recently admitting to church members he had AIDS and slept with church members without revealing his condition.

McFarland is still the pastor at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Sunday, McFarland delivered a sermon on “divine healing,” according to WSFA-TV, and confirmed to the station he would not be stepping down.

The church hierarchy voted for McFarland to step down 80-2, following his AIDS admission as well as other troubling actions such as drug use and mishandling church funds.

WSFA reports there were some 50 people in attendance on Sunday, many of whom were not expecting to see McFarland.

The station also reports that McFarland’s health is in visible decline. Longtime Shiloh church member and current deacon Nathan Williams reiterated that parishioners want only to “take the church back,” not to “hurt” McFarland.

McFarland is still listed as Shiloh’s pastor on the church’s official website.

Montgomery attorney Julian McPhillips informed WSFA he is working with church leadership to “finalize” a civil lawsuit, which they will file Tuesday. The suit will include a restraining order to presumably keep McFarland away from church grounds.

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