Archbishop Earl Paulk’s problems just got a lot more serious. As reported earlier, he has been under criminal investigation in Georgia and now an arrest warrant has been issued for the 80-year-old leader of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church after a long investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. He is accused of felony perjury related to a civil lawsuit alleging that he coerced a church employee to have an affair with him.
Paulk has been accused of affairs with both family and non-family members as well as abuse of a granddaughter.
Last January, Earl admitted to an affair with a former church employee Mona Brewer after Brewer sued over the affair that allegedly lasted from 1989 to 2003. She has charged that Earl told her that the affair was her only path to salvation. However, in a moment that recalls the Clinton scandal, Earl was asked in a 2006 deposition if he had ever had sex outside of marriage with anyone other than Brewer. He swore that he had not.
He was required to take a court-ordered paternity test. The result: he is the father of 34-year-old D.E. Paulk, who became head pastor of the church a eighteen months ago. While D.E. Paulk was known his whole life as the nephew of Earl, it turns out that he is really his son. The controversy is the latest in legal saga involving both civil and criminal allegations.
In addition Paulk also faces an allegation from his adult granddaughter, Penielle “Penie” White, that he touched her inappropriately when she was about eight years old.
The felony charge may force a plea, if Paulk is smart. Going to trial on this type of case is begging for disaster. Neither a jury nor a judge will like the look of Paulk’s conduct and these cases tend to be viewed as clear cut matters: either he had sex outside of marriage with more than one individual or he did not. The question is why Paulk did not settle the civil lawsuit at any cost given this record. One must assume that his lawyer was not informed of this history and watched his client implode in discovery.
Both Paulk and his brother, Don, are now facing multiple lawsuits from former members alleging they were coerced into sexual affairs.
It appears that the faithful have finally lost faith in the Paulk family. Notably, the Cathedral at Chapel Hill claimed about 10,000 members and 24 pastors in the 1990s with a huge facility. It is now down to about 1,500, and 18 pastors, most of them reportedly volunteers.
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