UPDATE: A judge ordered pastor Juan D. McFarland Thursday to turn over keys and bank accounts belonging to Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery, reports WSFA.
A video of the pastor shoving at a female reporter’s face as he walks out of court pretty much says it all.
McFarland was also ordered to return the church Mercedes and was told to stay off church property. The pastor had no lawyer and chose to represent himself in a lawsuit brought by church deacons, who had voted to remove him after he admitted having sex with females congregants on church property without telling them he had AIDS.
Original story follows:
An Alabama preacher who admitted to his congregation he had had sex with members at church without telling them he had AIDS has changed the locks on the church and taken over the church’s finances.
Channel 12 in Montgomery is doing a great job at airing the dirty laundry at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.
According to Channel 12, aka WSFA, Juan Demetrius McFarland, who has been pastor at the small church since 1990, began telling his flock several things they didn’t want to hear beginning with a Sept. 14 sermon. McFarland told church members he contracted HIV in 2003 and discovered in 2008 he had AIDS, says WSFA, but he did not tell church deacons — or the women he was having sex with at the church. In later sermons he admitted to misusing church funds and using drugs, including cocaine.
McFarland confirmed those details with WSFA during an interview.
Church members voted 80-1 to remove McFarland as their spiritual leader.
McFarland, in a surprise move, appeared at the church Sunday a delivered a sermon on divine healing. USA Today says about 50 “fervent” church members supported him.
During the sermon, McFarland told supporters of a story in the book of Luke where a woman pushed through a crowd to touch Jesus’ garment, which healed her of illness.
“Press your way through the crowd. Pass your way through the naysayers,” McFarland said, according to USA Today.
Deacons — citing ‘sexual ungodliness’ and other reasons — filed a lawsuit Monday seeking McFarland’s removal, access to the church’s finances and the return of a church-owned Mercedes-Benz and other property.
In the lawsuit, it is alleged a McFarland supporter inferred he would shoot deacons that tried to attend the church in the future. The supporter, in an NBC News article, says he never said such a thing.
The deacons allege McFarland passed a new church constitution in January that made him “dictator of the church.” The new constitution says McFarland can only be removed by death or his resignation, but deacons say the document is invalid because McFarland did not inform church members or deacons of the changes.
Deacons say Shiloh Missionary Baptist is a member of the National Baptist Convention USA and all that is required to remove a pastor is a majority vote of members.
But McFarland still has the keys to the church … and the church website, which still has a smiling picture of the man described as “steadfast, immovable.”
Sunday’s sermon should be interesting.
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