MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A circuit court judge in Alabama has ousted a Baptist minister who refused to leave his post as pastor after being voted out by the congregation for engaging in immoral behavior.
As previously reported, Juan Demetrius McFarland of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery announced during a sermon series last month that he had full-blown AIDS, and that he not only had been having sex with members in the building, but that he did not tell them that he had the virus. He has had HIV since 2003, and AIDS since 2008.
According to WSFA-TV, McFarland revealed further information little by little each week, including that he had been engaging in illicit drug use and that he had been misusing funds.
At first, the congregation expressed concern for McFarland’s health as all they knew during the early admissions was that their leader had AIDS. But as McFarland began to admit other deeds openly each week, they were horrified.
“He confessed to the entire membership and then to the City of Montgomery, because as soon as he got done confessing, it went all over Montgomery anyway,” Deacon Nathan Williams Jr. told the outlet. “So it’s nothing we [are] making up. It’s coming out of his mouth.”
An anonymous member advised that a female attendee, who he described as “a wonderful church member,” is now seeking testing after acknowledging that she was among those that had engaged in sexual relations with McFarland.
Earlier this month, considering all of the information that had been revealed, it was decided 80-1 to remove McFarland from his leadership position. There have not been any reports that members who had sex with the minister will be disciplined.
“He fraudulently concealed from the congregation . . . that he had knowingly engaged in adultery in the church building with female members of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church while knowingly having AIDS,” a resolution written by the congregation read. “[He also] fraudulently withheld information that he had been engaging in the use of illegal drugs while preaching and performing pastoral duties . . . [and] withheld information from church membership that he had misused church funds.”
However, McFarland, who has led the congregation for 21 years, refused to step down and is instead took issue with those who seek to force him out, banning them from the premises. In response, members hired an attorney, who then filed a lawsuit against McFarland asking that a judge issue a restraining order against the minister.
On Thursday, Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Charles Price granted the preliminary injunction while the case moves forward in court. According to local television station WNCN, more than two-thirds of the congregation attended the hearing.
Both McFarland and member Marc Peacock, Sr. were included the lawsuit, with Peacock being sued for allegedly helping McFarland when he changed the locks to the church, took over the bank accounts and threatened to shoot deacons who returned to the premises. Peacock resigned during the hearing on Thursday, and was consequently removed from the suit.
After Price ruled against McFarland and banned him from the church property, he left the courthouse without comment, and surrendered his Mercedes back to the congregation.