Pastor with AIDS says he slept with church members

Juan Demetrius McFarland of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church is seen in this undated file photo.

An Alabama church is the subject of a sex scandal.

Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church's now former preacher admitted from the pulpit to sleeping with several church members and not telling his partners he has full-blown AIDS.

Juan Demetrius McFarland didn't hold back when he revealed to worshipers at Shiloh Baptist Church on Sept. 14 that he contracted HIV in 2003 and discovered in 2008 he had AIDS.

"The church was very accepting of Reverend McFarland, they were willing to help him in any way possible," said one church member.

But once the pastor, with 23 years of leadership, started revealing more and more on the following Sundays, members and leaders say they realized McFarland had crossed the line.

In a resolution read aloud at church, leaders shared - and Pastor McFarland confirmed to WSFA-TV - he admitted drug use and mishandling church funds. But what members say was the ultimate shocker, described by church deacon Nathan Williams Jr.: "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."

This past Sunday, McFarland was removed as church pastor. Still, church members say, some congregation members are afraid to come forward, and many are concerned.

"Who does this to people, and you are the leader? Who does this? 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. She running out now trying to find out if there is anything wrong with her. My heart goes out to her because she's been a wonderful church member," a church member said.

Deacon Williams says in his 70 years at the church, this is the biggest scandal the church has ever experienced. Williams says leaders have obtained legal counsel and is now focused on moving the church forward.

"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," he said.

However, some members say they want justice.

"I believe that he should be put on trial. Go to court and let the judge decide if he should go to jail or not," a church member said.
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