Rev. Juan McFarland was in court on Monday petitioning to be reinstated at his old job as pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery.
According to McFarland’s attorney, the church had already approved bylaws giving McFarland his job back so the decision to fire him in October was illegitimate.
Circuit Judge Charles Price says he could rule on the case as early as next week.
In October of this year an Alabama court ordered an injunction which required that McFarland hand over keys to the church.
Church leaders considered it a victory when the court asserted that they were within their rights to remove McFarland, who’d led the church for 24 years and had refused to step down voluntarily.
“Now we’ve got the church back, and the healing can begin,” longtime Shiloh member Lois Caffey told the Associated Press at the time.
After the court’s ruling, the shamed pastor met with church members and handed over both the keys to the church and the keys to his Mercedes, which was being paid for with church funds.
“McFarland admitted earlier this month to mismanaging church funds and having sεx with several parishioners even though he has AIDS. After the pastor confessed, he refused to hand over leadership or step down, even going so far as to preach on Sunday to an almost empty church. The pastor also changed church bank account information and church locks as a way of maintaining control,” Naturally Moi reported in October.
Church leaders also told the Associated Press that their main goal was moving forward.