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AIDS-positive Alabama pastor who slept with congregants banned from church

A minister who confessed to having sex with church members and neglecting to tell them he had AIDS was temporarily banned from acting as pastor on Thursday.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price issued a preliminary injunction, as sought by deacons and trustees of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. Price ruled that the Rev. Juan McFarland, 47, must turn in his church keys and his church Mercedes vehicle and then stay away from the church he led for 24 years.

Church members hugged and prayed after the ruling. “Now we’ve got the church back, and the healing can begin,” said Lois Caffey, a member for 21 years.

The judge scheduled a hearing Dec. 1 to decide whether to issue a permanent injunction.

Lee Sanford, chairman of the board of trustees, said the challenge now is to reunite the 170 active members of the congregation. “I’m confident with God’s help we will be able to do that,” he said.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that the congregation voted to fire McFarland after his confessions but that he refused to leave and changed the church’s locks and control of church bank accounts.

McFarland said nothing inside or outside the courtroom Thursday during two hearings. He attended without an attorney.

The boards of deacons and trustees sued both McFarland and church parliamentarian Marc Anthoni Peacock, who was involved in changing the locks and bank accounts. Peacock resigned from the church after testifying in court Thursday and was dropped from the suit.

 

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9 thoughts on “AIDS-positive Alabama pastor who slept with congregants banned from church

  1. BROTHER HASSAN

    OK…..on a basic fact level….did the man have HIV or full blown AIDS…? and why would anyone attempting to disseminate information as you claim to be, not understand on a BASIC level what the difference is…?Instead of writing articles about liars like this man who did what he did, in a subtle way to demonize HIV/AIDS, why not use your platform to take moments such as these to be teachable moments??? This level of “boogey man” journalism only adds to the deep stigma that HIV/AIDS has within the black community, and that STIGMA is what leads folks to not “come out of the closet” about their HIV status. I worked as a volunteer at an STD clinic for many years, and I am deeply saddened, not merely by the situation reported, but use isolated incidents to paint the picture of those carrying the virus as sexual predators…?

    There are 1.3 million people in the United States living with this scourge, with disproportionate numbers of them black. It would benefit “I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE” to show enough love to have competent persons well versed in HIV/AIDS education write these sorts of articles. As for the man sleeping with others without disclosing his HIV status, I have several questions……

    1) What is his viral load and CD4 count…?
    2)Is he undetectable?
    3)Does he have any concurrent infections of other STI’s…?
    4). Did he have unprotected sex with these people…?
    5) As scandalous as his transgressions were, would they have been news if HIV were not in the mix…? I see adultery, drug use,etc…..
    6) What is the underlying motive for reporting a story like this that has received little to no attention for most black media outlets…?What fears are you playing up to…?
    7).Do you believe that a truly substantive, thoughtful, nuanced conversation that enlightens your readers can come from this level of reporting…?
    8). What is the GENDER of the persons that Rev. McFarland confessed to sleeping with….?

    9). Why does a church with less than 200 active members in the heart of the Bible Belt get this level of coverage from your blog…?

    Inquiring minds would love to know.

    Reply
    • mina

      It seems from your comments that you indeed do have issues. I think they may be genuine but misplaced in this article. The article isn’t intended to be about HIV/AIDS. It is about a man, specifically a minister, who had sex (protected or unprotected) knowing he had a communicable disease and didn’t disclose it to his partners. The bigger and surely serious issue of HIV/AIDS is not diminished by this article.

      Yes, perhaps there are remaining unanswered questions, but they have nothing to do with the stigma of HIV/AIDs. I’d be just as concerned if he passed on another communicable disease. The issue for me is who do we place our faith in AND what is the state of the Black church TODAY.

      Suggestion, why don’t YOU write your own article on HIV/AIDS as a way of dessiminatiing information and let this one be what it is.

      Reply
  2. Larry

    One thing I can guarantee you—-HE WILL BE BACK! This is one job you can never get fired from–Black Pastor. He will be back—in the pulpit. Tick, tick, tick.
    Anybody want to talk about the women who slept with him?? No? Why?

    Reply
  3. kimberly

    I absolutely have no compassion for this man at all…sorry to sound mean but I think that he should just die…not because he has aids because he slept with all these women and failed to tell them abou his disease…

    Reply
  4. Regina

    I also blame the women. go to a church and you have women fighting over themselves trying to land the preacher. Be careful for what you pray for.

    Reply
  5. Marrianne

    Brother Hassan, assalamu alaikum. I disagree with your comments for several reasons. AIDS is the number one killer of Black women. I seriously doubt that they contracted it because their sexual partners told them about their HIV status and they had unprotected sex anyway. Contrary to what you believe, there has to be A LOT of sexual predators out there intentionally infecting people. I watched a video on FB of this woman telling how she had AIDS and was running around intentionally infecting people BECAUSE they were dumb enough to have sex with her and barely knew her. It was her feeling that anyone who is dumb enough to have unprotected sex with someone they barely know, deserved whatever they got. This article NEEDED to be published to wake OUR PEOPLE up to the fact that ANYBODY, EVEN THE PASTOR OF A CHURCH can be HIV positive. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that a PASTOR OF A CHURCH did this will shock others into using condoms. It ALSO needed to be published to tell ALL these Black folk who go to church and praise the pastor more than God that what they are doing is wrong. WHY would this church buy this charlatan a Mercedes when there are the elderly, sick, hungry and homeless out there that they could have spent that money on, which is what JESUS said the tithe was to be used for? They weren’t praising God, they were praising the pastor. Maybe God is using them as an example to tell these other churches to get their act together and start praising Him instead the pastor.

    Reply
  6. James Roseau--Danbury, CT

    Marianne, I appreciate your clear perspective on this matter. Folks need to realize that the devil and his followers always come in sheep clothing. That is, one must not assume that a so-called pastor is of God just because he seems to be praising God on the pulpit every Sunday. This Pastor, for instance, is purely of the devil. He willfully infected vulnerable members of his flocks with a deadly disease, without any obvious remorse or regard for their lives. This Pastor is a bona fide murderer. The only difference between him and the regular murderers is that he uses an unusual murder-weapon. For those who have tried to portray this pastor as a victim of HIV/Aids bashers, you are simply condoning evil and purely ignorant. HIV or Aids is not the issue. The issue is that no one, specifically a pastor, should willfully use HIV/Aids as a murder-weapon against anyone.

    Reply

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