Judge to decide if pastor can keep preaching after admitting to sex, drugs, misusing funds to his flock

An Alabama pastor got the boot from his parish after confessing to his flock that he had engaged in sex, illegal drugs and mishandling church money, but he wants a court to order forgiveness.

After Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church fired Rev. Juan McFarland, he refused to step down.

The church got a restraining order preventing McFarland from taking back the pulpit, but the pastor asked a judge to give him back the church’s Mercedes Benz and guarantee his $50K job for life. Life might be short for McFarland, since he is dying of AIDS, a condition which he did not reveal to the worshippers he committed adultery with.

NBC News tells the story:

The legal issue now under consideration by the circuit court in Montgomery is whether church bylaws guaranteed McFarland’s salary for life or until his voluntary resignation, as he claims. Church trustees and deacons say the bylaws were never properly enacted because McFarland pushed them through in 2013 without proper notice and without a quorum of members present.

Circuit Judge Charles Price is expected to rule soon on whether the temporary injunction on McFarland’s return will become permanent, and he made it clear he intends to decide the legal, not moral, aspects of the case.

According to the Associated Press, Price declared, “I’m not dealing with the sin.

McFarland destroyed lives, money and trust in his church and a finding in his favor would be a slap in the face of the faithful.

Stay tuned.

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Lonnie K. Martens

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