A pastor shocked his Montgomery, Ala., congregation and the entire community with the admission that he had sex with female church members while knowing that he had AIDS.
The Rev. Juan D. McFarland made the admission from the pulpit during a Sunday service in September, said Deacon Nathan Williams Jr., a 71-year member of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.
“He made it public. He shared it, and I’m just saying what he said,” Williams said, adding that McFarland said the sex did not occur in the church sanctuary.
Williams said McFarland also admitted to drug use and misusing church funds.
“He was on marijuana, cocaine and all the drugs you can think of,” Williams said. “Those are his words.”
Williams said that McFarland also acknowledged that he had used money given to him for conventions on having “a good time.”
According to WSFA-TV in Montgomery, after the Sept. 14 announcement, McFarland confirmed everything he shared with the congregation, including sex with parishioners, the drug use and the mishandling of church money. WSFA reports that McFarland was removed as pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday.
The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser spoke with McFarland on Thursday, but he said he was not interested in talking to members of the news media. Other church leaders could not immediately be reached for comment.
In response to the pastor’s admission, a non-profit organization that helps HIV and AIDS patients issued a statement Thursday.
“Medical AIDS Outreach of Alabama would like to extend our compassion to those who may have been affected by the recent announcement made by a local church pastor,” the statement reads.
“We are always saddened to hear of new incidences of HIV, and our hearts go out to all of those living with the virus.”
Source: USA Today | Scott Johnson, Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser