A Baptist pastor in Montgomery, Alabama took to the pulpit to make a shocking confession
to his congregation. Last month, Juan Demetrius McFarland told members of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church that he had AIDS and had engaged in sexual contact with churchgoers without informing them of his condition.
Church members were initially understanding and accepting when McFarland first admitted that he had AIDS on September 14. In the weeks to follow, attitudes began to change when more details began to surface. McFarland confessed that he had mishandled church funds and used drugs along with his dangerous sexual behavior.
Church deacon Nathan Williams, Jr. told the press, "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".
Church leaders removed McFarland as pastor on October 5 and have consulted with legal counsel.
Williams stated, "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."
An unknown church member has encouraged McFarland's victims to speak out and "maybe have some peace by coming forward and not the shame that goes along with it."
Other members are hoping that McFarland will be prosecuted criminally for his actions. Under Alabama law, transmitting an STD is a Class C misdemeanor. McFarland is not currently facing any criminal charges.
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