Williams said McFarland also admitted to drug use and misusing church funds.
"He was on marijuana, cocaine and all the drugs you can think of," Williams said. "Those are his words."
Williams said that McFarland also acknowledged that he had used money given to him for conventions on having "a good time."
According to WSFA-TV in Montgomery, after the Sept. 14 announcement, McFarland confirmed everything he shared with the congregation, including sex with parishioners, the drug use and the mishandling of church money. WSFA reports that McFarland was removed as pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday.
The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser spoke with McFarland on Thursday, but he said he was not interested in talking to members of the news media. Other church leaders could not immediately be reached for comment.
In response to the pastor's admission, a non-profit organization that helps HIV and AIDS patients issued a statement Thursday.
"Medical AIDS Outreach of Alabama would like to extend our compassion to those who may have been affected by the recent announcement made by a local church pastor," the statement reads.
"We are always saddened to hear of new incidences of HIV, and our hearts go out to all of those living with the virus."
Church leaders knew that McFarland was HIV positive for about five weeks before the pastor made the announcement, Williams said. The plan, he said, was to have someone talk to congregants about the disease when they announced it.
McFarland's subsequent confession during church blindsided church leaders, Williams said.
According to Williams, McFarland said that he was diagnosed HIV positive in 2003 and then was tested again in 2008, which was when he was diagnosed with AIDS.
Williams said he did not know how many women McFarland might have slept with.
Church leaders initiated a vote to have McFarland removed as pastor, Williams said. The vote was 80 to two in favor of removal, he said.
Williams said since the vote, McFarland has changed the locks on the church and changed the church's bank account, leaving other church leaders without access. Church leaders are consulting with lawyers and the bank to figure out a solution, he said.
"If it calls for a lawsuit, it calls for a lawsuit. We're going through the process," Williams said, adding that no church leaders have filed criminal charges "as of yet."
McFarland remains the leader of the Alabama Middle District Missionary Baptist Association. Other leaders with the association could not immediately be reached for comment.
Williams said he had been close with McFarland and that the pastor was like a son to him at one time.
"I was surprised. Really, I was hurt," Williams said. "But it is not about me, it is about the church. We're going to get the church back."
source: usatoday.com by Scott Johnson