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November 20, 2007

Earl Paulk

Earl Paulk is revealed to have been a very naughty man indeed. He fathered a child by his brother's wife: not really normally the done thing in evangelical church circles, it has to be said:

The 80-year-old leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch is at the center of a sex scandal of biblical dimensions: He slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her.

Members of Archbishop Earl Paulk's family stood at the pulpit of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church a few Sundays ago and revealed the secret exposed by a recent court-ordered paternity test.

In truth, this is not the first — or even the second — sex scandal to engulf Paulk and the independent, charismatic church. But this time, he could be in trouble with the law for lying under oath about the affair.

The living proof of that lie is 34-year-old D.E. Paulk, who for years was known publicly as Earl Paulk's nephew.

"I am so very sorry for the collateral damage it's caused our family and the families hurt by the removing of the veil that hid our humanity and our sinfulness," said D.E. Paulk, who received the mantle of head pastor a year and a half ago.

D.E. Paulk said he did not learn the secret of his parentage until the paternity test. "I was disappointed, and I was surprised," he said.

Earl Paulk, his brother, Don, and his sister-in-law, Clariece, did not return calls for comment.

Not returning calls is probably quite wise. At least, until they've got the story straight. One suggestion: that Don was in fact infertile and that Earl Paulk was doing him a favour by offering him a son to raise? Not sure how well that would go down with anyone but perhaps worth a try?

The real problem though is that Earl Paulk could be in legal trouble, rather than just church style moral trouble, for he's previously lied under oath about the affair. As Barry Bonds might be about to find out, that can attract a 30 year sentence for perjury.

It's also not the first allegation of sexual impropriety to swirl around Paulk:

Hall was born in 1960 and was one of the first children born into Chapel Hill Harvester. In 2003, she claimed that Paulk had convinced her into a lengthy affair that also included her having sex with Paulk's brother, Don. Hall alleges that the affair began in 1983 (in a manner much similar to Mona Brewer's a few years later) when Paulk prayed for her, then kissed her. He then would say he intended to "make love" to her. At one point, Paulk supposedly would tell her that they had a "special gift of love outside holy matrimony". Cindy Hall has never filed a lawsuit against Paulk.

Then of course there is Mona Brewer:

Brewer claimed that in 1989, Paulk felt " 'impressed of the Lord' to get to know her better". She then stopped by his office the next day. Soon she made regular appearances. She alleged that a church official stated that there had been a "word of knowledge" claiming that she was about to enter a new relationship that would benefit her.

As it turned out, the "relationship" in question was a sexual one with Paulk on September 12th of that year. Paulk preached the following Sunday that "when you are in despair, God will send you a resurrection"; later claiming that Brewer was his resurrection. She didn't break the relationship off until September of 2003.

Oh, and Earl Paulk seems to have made something of a habit of this:

Tricia Weeks: Weeks was a biographer/ghostwriter for Paulk when she allegedly had a two-year affair with Paulk in 1992.

And yet even more! Jessica Battle:

Between the Weeks incident and the stories breaking about Brewer and Hall, in 2001; Jessica Battle, a college student who had been part of the dance team, accused Paulk of molesting her between the ages of 7 and 11, and later of forcing himself on her when she was 17. Lynn Mays (Battle's grandmother and a pastor on the staff) sided with Paulk. The suit was settled out of court in 2003 for $400,000.

My my, quite the horny toad, isn't he, our Earl Paulk?

November 20, 2007 in Religion | Permalink

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