An Alabama pastor reportedly confessed from the pulpit that he not only had a history of sleeping with congregants, but also had sex with church members after discovering he had full-blown AIDS.
In a series of sermons last month, Juan Demetrius McFarland revealed more and more to members until he came forward with full details of his health and sexual misconduct, WSFA reported on Wednesday. McFarland was reported to have told congregants that he contracted HIV in 2003 and discovered he had AIDS in in 2008.
McFarland was removed from Montgomery’s Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church leadership on Oct. 5. He confirmed the claims in his sermons to WSFA himself.
The disgraced pastor also admitted to drug abuse and mismanaging church funds, but the bombshell over his illness and affairs with congregants was what shocked church members the most. Some shared their thoughts on the scandal with WSFA.
“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,” one member told the station.
“The fact that he didn’t tell them at all. That’s a crime in itself,” the unnamed member added.
Another member told WSFA McFarland should be put on trial.
“Go to court and let the judge decide if he should go to jail or not. We tend to sweep things under the rug, especially if they’re the leader,” the member said. “It’s like oh, no, please let’s not get this out but I think after this that they will have more discussions on HIV and AIDS.”
WSFA reports that church leaders obtained legal counsel after the revelations.
“We are not looking to hurt him. We are looking to get the church back,” church deacon Nathan Williams Jr. told the station. “That’s our theme: Get the church back. We want the church back. That’s it.”