An Alabama pastor gave confessional sermons at the Montgomery Baptist church in which he admitted to having adulterous sex with female members on church property, mishandling church funds, having AIDS and abusing illegal drugs.
Juan Demetrius McFarland was ousted by the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday. He had led the church since 1990.
He told stunned churchgoers during a Sept. 14 sermon that he contracted HIV in 2003 and that he was diagnosed with AIDS in 2008. An unidentified church member told WSFA that the congregation was originally supportive of Rev. McFarland, but as he kept revealing more and more each Sunday, members felt he crossed the line.
"Who does this to people, and you are the leader? Who does this?" a church member told WSFA.
"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," the member added. "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."
About 160 people attend the church each Sunday.
Long time member of the church Nathan Williams Jr., 80, said not everyone was angry with McFarland.
"As Christian people, we wanted him to get well," Williams said. "I thought of him as one of my sons."
Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Mike Fisher, WSFA 12 News