Pastor Has Sex with Congregants, Lies About AIDS, Refuses to Step Down

Juan McFarland is a Montgomery, Alabama pastor with a horrible track record: He’s admitted to sleeping with congregant while not disclosing the fact that he has AIDS, has mishandled church funds and used drugs. He refuses to step down, despite the fact that church officials have voted 80-2 to have him ousted.

It’s important to note that having AIDS shouldn’t preclude anyone from being a pastor. It’s a serious condition, but it says nothing about the quality of the person living with it and there’s no reason that someone like McFarland should be ousted on that alone (and, in fact, that would be deplorable). But his admission that he knowingly had sex with his congregants while not disclosing his status is problematic. Dude, WTF? How are you going to be a church leader and do something like that? Where does it say to knowingly put people at risk without informed consent in the commandments? Add that to the allegations of substance use and mishandling of church funds, and it’s hard to see how McFarland, who took to the pulpit on Sunday to deliver a sermon on “divine healing,” is a good person to be talking about morals and ethics. McFarland, however, disagrees and says that he refuses to step down, regardless of what any vote of confidence may say.

According to TheGrio, congregants were surprised to see McFarland on Sunday, assuming he would already be gone. And no one in the church wants to hurt McFarland, whose health, TheGrio notes, is failing. But church members would like a new leader, and if McFarland isn’t going to step down, those members will attempt to take the church back through legal means.

The church leaders are working with a lawyer to file a restraining order against McFarland.

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