Baptist minister’s shocking admission

Baptist minister’s shocking admission

Members of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Alabama are in shock after their pastor, Juan Demetrius McFarland, above, admitted that he had sex with several female congregants without telling them he had AIDS.

McFarland didn’t hold back when he first revealed to worshippers at the church on September 14 that he contracted HIV in 2003 and discovered in 2008 he had AIDS.

A church member, who wanted to remain unnamed, said:

The church was very accepting of Reverend McFarland and was willing to help him in any way possible.

But after the pastor, with 23 years of leadership, started revealing more and more on subsequent Sundays, members and leaders say they realised he had crossed the line.

Later McFarland also admitted to drug use and mishandling of church funds. Deacon Nathan Williams Jr said:

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.

McFarland was removed as church pastor on October 5. Still, church members say some congregation members are afraid to come forward and many others are concerned.

Another unnamed church member asked:

Who does this to people?  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, and she running out now trying to find out if there is anything wrong with her. And my heart goes out to her because she’s been a wonderful church member, and then for something like this to happen. The fact that he didn’t tell them at all. That’s a crime in itself.

Deacon Williams says he’s been a member of the church for 70 years, and this is the biggest scandal the church has ever experienced.

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. So it’s nothing we [are] making up. It’s coming out of his mouth.

Williams says leaders have obtained legal counsel, and are 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.

But some members say they want justice. Another unnamed church member said:

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. We tend to sweep things under the rug, especially if they’re the leader. It’s like ‘oh, no, please let’s not get this out’ but I think after this that they will have more discussions on HIV and AIDS.

McFarland holds the position of Moderator with the Alabama Middle District Baptist Association, which includes 34 churches across the state. Calls to association leaders indicate that currently there are no discussions to remove him from his position.

13 responses to “Baptist minister’s shocking admission”

  1. Toto says:

    Anyone surprised by this revelation? I hope not.

  2. Matt Westwood says:

    As human behaviour goes, this really does stoop a bit low.

  3. Stephen Mynett says:

    Not surprised at all Toto.

    As a haemophiliac I was in the high risk group when AIDS was first discovered and certainly missed out on a couple of shags because of my honesty – at that time it was too frightening for some to think a condom would be a safeguard. I am glad I did miss out as that is better than thinking I may have been a cause of a premature and horrible death. Luckily I missed out on the virus, unlike many friends.

    I know many others like me, they were careful and, also, atheists. It seems the church is less so.

    As for this quote “. . . And my heart goes out to her because she’s been a wonderful church member . . .” The question, how wonderful is a church member who shags a pastor and goes against what they have been taught to believe in?

  4. Matt Westwood says:

    Christians know that it doesn’t matter what they do, God will forgive them in the end. So they get up to all sorts of shit, and the worse they behave the greater glory it is to the grace of God who forgives the *worst* shit.

    Add to that their sense of invulnerability to danger: “Lord Jesus is protecting me from harm” and this behaviour is no longer pathological, it’s downright mainstream.

    Nasty godless atheists, of course, have only their natural prudence, intelligence and common sense to guide them through their lives.

  5. Trevor Blake says:

    Alabama has laws against the criminal transmission of HIV.

    When one not only believes in a divine right and wrong, but believes one has access to that information, there is no act to reprehensible to go undone. Doubters and skeptics, meanwhile, have from the start a sense they might not know all and thus cannot act as if they do or that they will be saved from their own actions.

  6. John Coffin says:

    ‘…and then for something like this to happen.’

    No. This did not ‘happen,’ it was done, by a person. A person invested with moral authority on no rational basis. In the US, pretty much ANYONE can ‘ordain’ themselves. Thus creating an instant protection from accountability, and taxation.

    McFarland may have been a Qualified Clergyman for all I know, but any snake-handling Billy-Bob can, and will, match his irresponsibility and reckless indifference.

  7. barriejohn says:

    Matt: I was about to say “Spot on” until I read your comment a bit more closely!

    Christians know that it doesn’t matter what they do, God will forgive them in the end.

    No. Protestants, by and large, believe that THEY HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN ALREADY. “Justified (past tense) by grace through faith”; “Washed in the Precious Blood of Christ”; “Born Again”; “Once saved always saved”. They are insistent that Christians will never be judged for their sins, and that it is not necessary for them to live a good life or perform any “works” to contribute to their salvation, nor to die in any “state of grace”, to enter heaven, just as long as they were “saved” at some earlier point in their lives. Indeed, I knew many who would never refer to “The Judgment Seat of Christ”, as it appears in the KJV, but ALWAYS referred to it, in a most irritating way, as “The Bema”, even though that means the same thing!

  8. Matt Westwood says:

    Hm. Depends on the sect, I suppose. My own joyless, puritan, misery-guts upbringing (and my father still can’t discuss the issue without raising his voice in rage) suggested that although at the point at which you “accept Jesus into your heart” your *previous* sins are forgiven, you then have to be *constantly on your best behaviour* or God will thrash you in fury. It is only when you offer up an apology to God (I mean “repent”) then he has to go back to the stupid cupboard where he keeps a bottle of Lamb’s Blood with which he has to wash you clean all over again, but he sure as shit ain’t happy about it and, although you are indeed *technically* re-forgiven, he will look upon you with disfavour and make you sit at the back in the naughty seats at his Wonderful Eternal Banquet.

    My personal view is that my father is actually not very well.

  9. barriejohn says:

    Matt: I remember furious arguments with Christians who thought that you had to stay in a “state of grace” if you wanted to go to heaven when you popped your clogs, but most protestants hold to the “Perseverance of Saints” doctrine, and it is that (as well as their rejection of “tradition”, “means of grace”, the authority of the church and priesthood to legislate and bestow absolution, etc) which marks them out from Catholics. I believe the Salvation Army teaches that you have to continue to believe to be “saved”.

  10. barriejohn says:

    Are you all missing the fun on the Wendy and Rory thread? Several loopy Christian “sisters” have been defending the, well, loopy couple:

    I stand with God tv. I stand with wendy and her children and pray that Rory comes home . Anyone with a pulse would be heartbroken at wendy,s total honesty RE:her husband Rory and her love and compassion for him . Please do not knock God tv at this time. Pray Pray and Pray again.We (the viewers love and miss him also) . Jezebel if you are reading this release rory and let him go. His marriage covenant is with wendy.God is alive and the Holy Bible tells the news of this world before any great news channel. The middle east, ebola virus with no cure. Jesus is coming back. Are you saved? There is a Heaven and there is a Hell.

    That from “margaret”, who has a link to a site which doesn’t show up. Anyone know who the daft bird is? I asked her for proof that “god is faithful to forgive and cleanse us” but answer came there none. Not a “spirit of evasion” I hope!

    PS “Jezebel” – hahahahahahaha (as if she’s reading this!)

  11. barriejohn says:

    Here’s the link to that thread, but I see that others are there now!

  12. Newspaniard says:

    If it against the law to pass on the HIV virus, how much worse is it to knowingly pass on AIDS? This man should be in gaol NOW awaiting a full life sentence with all of his assets distributed to those he has infected.

  13. Vanity Unfair says:

    “the biggest scandal the church has ever experienced.”
    How many does it take?