Geez, what day is it today? Tuesday? Man, seems like the weekly right-wing family values train is a bit late this week. It seems like every week there is some new compassionate Christian conservative huckster gettin’ his freak on in a bathroom or something… oh, wait, this just in:
DECATUR, Ga. – 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.
More family values after the jump:
The archbishop, his brother and the church are being sued by former church employee Mona Brewer, who says Earl Paulk manipulated her into an affair from 1989 to 2003 by telling her it was her only path to salvation. Earl Paulk admitted to the affair in front of the church last January.
In a 2006 deposition stemming from the lawsuit, the archbishop said under oath that the only woman he had ever had sex with outside of his marriage was Brewer. But the paternity test said otherwise.
Uh oh. You lied. Under oath. About sex. In this country, that’s a serious offense. You should’ve lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction instead.
At its peak in the early 1990s, it claimed about 10,000 members and 24 pastors and was a media powerhouse. By soliciting tithes of 10 percent from each member’s income, the church was able to build a Bible college, two schools, a worldwide TV ministry and a $12 million sanctuary the size of a fortress.
And how much tax revenue was generated by this multi-million dollar empire? About as much as was raised from taxing Enron back in the day.
Today, though, membership is down to about 1,500, the church has 18 pastors, most of them volunteers, and the Bible college and TV ministry have shuttered _ a downturn blamed largely on complaints about the alleged sexual transgressions of the elder Paulks.
In 1992, a church member claimed she was pressured into a sexual relationship with Don Paulk. Other women also claimed they had been coerced into sex with Earl Paulk and other members of the church’s administration.