May 15, 2019 — John Rodgers McFarland, 67, a former pastor at several Methodist churches in Southern Californian, has been arrested and charged with molesting 7 children between the ages of 5 and 15 years old, according to the Orange County Register.
McFarland was arrested on May 9 and charged with 7 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 15, and 4 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor between the ages of 14 and 15 years old, according to court records.
He pleaded not guilty on all counts. He is being held on $2 million bail at the Orange County Jail. He faces a maximum sentence of 179 years to life.
McFarland was the head pastor at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in Fullerton, California, since 2016. He was also a pastor at Surf City Church in Huntington Beach between 2011 and 2016.
He also worked as a senior pastor at Fountain Valley United Methodist Church for 26 years, ending in 2016.
Decades ago, McFarland was a youth pastor and worked at youth camps at the San Dieguito Methodist Church in Encinitas between 1978 and 1981. His first appointment as a senior pastor was at Calexico United Methodist Church in Calexico from 1981 to 1988.
McFarland was previously arrested by police in Escondido on December 18, 2018, and charged with 2 felonies for lewd acts upon a child between July 2012 and July 2013. The victim was described as a girl under the age of 14.
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