Creative Leadership

Pastor Earl Paulk Dies

A very strange and ugly chapter passed this week as Pastor Earl Paulk died of cancer.  News reports indicated that the megachurch pastor, who helped popularize
“kingdom now” theology but was plagued for decades by sexual scandal,
died early Sunday morning after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 81.  Paulk, founder of what is now known as the Cathedral at Chapel Hill,
was taken to the hospital on Jan. 1 with an intestinal blockage and was
never released.  He had previously undergone surgery for prostate cancer.
Although
he repeatedly denied the allegations, DNA testing proved in 2007 that
Paulk lied about past infidelity and was the

father of his nephew, D.E.
Paulk, who now leads the 1,000-member congregation.  “For whatever good he may have done, my uncle had a serious problem
with sexual addiction, and never owned it, and never really took any
responsibility for it,” Paulk’s nephew, Bishop Jim Swilley, pastor of
Church in the Now in Conyers, Ga., said in a blog posting Sunday. “He
died in disgrace, and, unfortunately, will for the most part only be
remembered for the scandals.”

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21 Comments

  1. Proverbs 6:32, The one who commits adultery is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. — Enough said

  2. As one who has survived many years of pornography, sex addiction and dozens of prostitutes, I understand some of what he was going through. It becomes consuming, compelling and compulsive. And crippling. I’ve been a Christian for more than 40 years. (some of you will doubt that) For 30 years, I have acted out, without exposure. At 55 I am on a terrifying journey to wholeness. The road to grace is not easy when you’ve been chasing hell’s highway for so long. (If you are still chasing skirts, either virtual or real, take no comfort in the delay between sowing and reaping). Now, for me God’s grace is hard to embrace… not because HE is distant, but because I have difficulty grasping the magnitude of His grace. I am on my way. Thank you whoever talked about the book Truefaced. I will get there. I hunger to be real. I ache to allow God, and people, to love me. God help us. God help you, who are where I am.

  3. http://jeffnix.wordpress.com

    Earl Pearly Paulk Jr. May 30,1927 – March 29, 2009

    One of History’s great men of God has passed away; Bishop Earl Paulk went home to be with the Lord during the evening of March 29, 2009. Countless thousands and millions by extension throughout the earth have been touched by the positive message of the Gospel of the Kingdom. This powerful message for our times was also carried by many others who followed their own high calling but the Gospel of the Kingdom was delivered to the Christian mainstream by Bishop Paulk. Though this Biblical message of God’s rule in human hearts didn’t originate with him, his dynamic preaching and teaching brought relevancy and clarity to the Christian church in the late 20th century.

    Doubtless a man after God’s own heart, it’s without question that Bishop Paulk struggled with areas of his humanity as do so many of us who must balance life in the flesh with our spiritual inner man, confined to this earthen realm. Personal failures among mankind notwithstanding, the callings of God are without repentance and God continues to use those faithful to the call that he places in their life, and such was God’s call on the life of our dear Bishop.

    While unfortunate, it is also understandable that the human condition compels us to castigate in the light of impropriety’s discovery. Even so, the media outlets have announced Bishop’s passing, not with the recognition of his life’s work but rather the litany of accusation ascribed against him during his later years. The unbelieving world and those blinded to God’s goodness suffer greatly with the lack of understanding. As Christians, we however see and perceive the treasure of God’s deposit in the life of his called. As Jeremiah 15:19 tells us; If you can but extract the precious from the worthless then you will be my spokesman.

    As Christians serving the same God as did Bishop Paulk, we are admonished to uphold those in authority, spiritual and otherwise and to recognize the ministry, not the man. To share in his vision, not his plight. To view the role of the man as representative of God’s kind intention to the world. The message of God’s Kingdom is the key – not the frailty or the weakness of its messengers. The message endures and continues to touch the four corners of a dying world after the transgressions of God’s servant is all but forgotten.

    Many of you reading this tribute have been personally touched and perhaps even spiritually established through the life’s work and ministry of Bishop Earl Paulk. Regardless of personal life, he was the door through which many received God’s salvation. His was the vision that carried God’s Kingdom awareness to the world. It is therefore a credit to us individually and as a community of believers, united in God’s love to remember as 2 Corinthians 4:7 says: God’s precious deposit, or treasure lives in earthen vessels that the greatness may be of the power of God and that not of ourselves.

    Spiritual History will be kind to God’s message of the kingdom. This message as delivered through Bishop Earl Paulk has been recorded in both books and sermons for the past several decades. Thanks largely to the visionary calling of Donnie & Gina Harris, the durable preservation of the Bishop’s body of work on the Kingdom will be established at BishopEarlPaulk.net even now as we celebrate the life, the ministry, and home going of Bishop Earl Paulk.

    Jeff Nix 3/29/2009
    jeffnix@gmail.com – 678-776-8861
    POSTED = http://jeffnix.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/bishop-earl-p-paulk/

  4. The Bible tells us that many who proclaim Him to be Lord never knew Him.

    Only God knows the heart of this man, but he deeply damaged many women and girls.  Some will never pray, seek God or go to church again because of the trust he destroyed.

     

    He not only used women sexually, he endorsed other men in church leadership to do the same.  He twisted scriptures to give himself –and them–permission for his sin.  

    What is left of his church is a mockery of the faith, refusing to call sin by its name. How very sad.   

  5. This entire situation is saddening. I do not presume to know the state of Earl Paulk’s heart when he died – whether or not he repented to God and tried to make ammends with those he hurt. What is evident for many to see, however, is the hurt and pain he left behind him. Here’s what God says in Ezekiel:

    “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.” Ezekiel 19: 24-26

    As I said, I do not know the state of his heart at the time of his death – if he made ammends with God – but this should be a sobering lesson to all of us… to take God’s Word seriously and get the help we need for those vices that seem to overwhelm us, so that we can truly please God and not cause others to turn away from God because of any inability to live the message that we preach.

    “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27

    Allen Paul Weaver III
    Author, Transition: Breaking Through the Barriers
    http://www.APW3.com

  6. Working on it APW III. But it is according to His grace, not my efforts. I face my sin on my own, and it owns me. Face my sin under His grace, allowing His power to work and live through me, only then is there hope of pushing through, of starting to win and experiencing the Joy. Trusting God is easy to say. Realizing that what I do is not important, no matter how grand in the eyes of others. God is more interested in me… than what I do. He who is without sin can cast the first stone.

  7. There are many thousands of us who are former members of Earl Paulk’s church who can attest to the utter destruction he has made of so many lives. There are those who wish to rewrite history so that Earl Paulk appears to be a man of god. Beware of those who ignore the facts of his life. He destroyed more lives than he ever touched positively. He sued and publically vilified his victims. He denied his actions until he was forced to admit them by DNA evidence. It is one thing to be a very human person and make a mistake. It is another thing entirely to live a lifestyle of depravity, and in fact to build a church in order to attract victims to himself and to his family. Anyone who tries to portray Earl Paulk as anything but a vile, evil manipulator and cult leader is sadly mislead.

    1. Stil fighting, I certainly cannot agree with your comments.  Pastor Paulk touched more lives than you will ever know, the thousands of us that attended the church were blessed beyond measure by his annointed teaching!  We never expected him to be perfect, but I know for a fact he loved the Lord with all of his heart!  I know the battles that he had to fight against much attach from evil people trying to destroy him, I remember the gracious way he handle opposition, but it had to weigh heavy on his heart.  I can’t condone what him and so many men who are Christian do, but I do know the our Lord looks at the heart!  Pastor Paulk touched peoples lives all across this country.  I’ve traveled everywhere and I know who he touched, he raised up a movement that energized and brough people back into the church…I always said he was a man whose teaching was well before it’s time.  I’m sorry for those who were hurt, but never say he didn’t help more, because he did!  His teaching and his love will go on for generation after generation, his books will continue to bless others forever!  I am sorry you have no forgiveness in you!  May God help you!

  8. Before passing away, Pastor Paulk made peace with God through Jesus Christ Im sure. Lets not all be a grave digger here. Thank God for the good that he did on earth and learn from the bad, knowing that sin is a thief and a killer. 81 years is a long life; probably longer than his critics will live.

  9. You’re SURE Earl made peace with God?  Were you there? 

    Earl Paulk was given many chances to make peace not only with God but with those he hurt so deeply, yet he never made any attempt to do so. 

    I would like for anyone to come up with good things that Earl Paulk personally did.  Many people in the ministries that he claimed credit for did good things, but what did Earl do?  To my knowledge there was nothing that HE did personally to better anyone’s life but his own. 

    You need to be aware of the many people whose life was destroyed by Earl Paulk.  We were largely ignored by church members, but we are here, many many many of us.  We will not be silent while this man is honored. 

    1. God says that a person who will not forgive will also NOT be forgiven!
      Each and everyone of us suffer at someone’s hand at some point, at the same time, someone suffers at ours.  We ALL have fallen short of the Glory of God, each of us have our own personal, private sin, many people’s sin is unforgiveness, which is the same “sin” as what you accuse Pastor Paulk of!  His is no greater or less than yours and mine or anyone elses, the difference is “those who forgive” and carry on to help other who will suffer at someone else’s hands in some way!!  Pastor Paulk never ceased to try to do better, to try to help others, I even remember one of his last sermons, he was so repentant (generally speaking of course) , and he was trying to promote repentance among others, I know he did make peace with God!!  Probably over and over and over and over again, the way so many of us have to do!!  I hope you find your peace in forgiveness, because you won’t find it anywhere else!!  Whether it seems fair or NOT, God tells us to speak evil of NO man, and to never to speak against HIS annointed.. Whether you think so or NOT,  Pastor Paulk was God’s annointed and God used him mightily despite his faults…now it’s between him and God.  You only need to be concerned about the relationship between YOU and God, the past is over, and God has a future for you if only you will repent and obey HIm!  Leave to God what is God’s alone!!se), and urging others to repent and to walk in love! 
       

  10.  Victim number 2,585,739 in Paulk’s file.

    The sex wasn’t the big sin.  The BIG SIN was that he used his spiritual authority in the church to pressure women to have sex with him or risk hell.

    He "taught" that giving him sex was a way of worshiping God.

    I was an indirect victim and that is bad enough.  I pity those women who were hurt worse than I was. 

  11. Please understand SecretKeeper that I am in no way judging you. My comments were based on Earl Paulk’s witness, not on your comments. I am merely stating what scripture says in light of the events that Phil’s post is dealing with. It is serious for all of us to consider the scriptures, because we all have issues to deal with and will be held accountable for how we deal with them and their affects on others. And the Bible is clear that Leaders will have a higher level of accountability when they stand before God. I pray for God’s strength and grace to be with you to bring deliverance in your journey.

    Allen Paul Weaver III
    Author, Transition: Breaking Through the Barriers
    http://www.APW3.com

  12. My first thought was I hope he gets the reward he deserves–but then I realized that I certainly don’t want the reward I deserve.

    God’s grace is an amazing thing.  If Paulk reached out and repented before he died– that what God would want for him. So I’d better want that too.

    In the flesh, what he did was hard to get past.  Working on it. 

  13. Jeff Nix’s tribute to Bishop Earl P. Paulk is calm, irenic, and delivered in a tone of reverence. I am sure Jeffery is sincere in his desire to honor Earl Paulk. However, I must disagree with most of what he stated. Jeffery is sadly misinformed. Earl Paulk was not “a man after God’s own heart”. The biblical writers used that phrase of King David. David did heinous things but he confessed and repented. He acknowledged his sin openly (Psalm 51). Was that the attitude of Earl Paulk? From my recollection, EP blamed and vilified the victims up to the time of his death. He sued them on several occasions. He denied his sins. He placed to onus on the very ones with whom he committed adultery. He perjured himself in a court of law denying his wrongdoing and vilifying one of his victims. His lackeys and his lieutenants continue the lies and cover-ups even after his death. Earl Paulk committed similar sins in Hemphill CoG and at CHHC. His nefarious activities include adultery with multiple women, one being his brother’s wife, perjury, pedophilia, lying publicly from the pulpit, shady dealing with the money of the church and perpetration of false doctrine. Jeffery would have us believe that Earl Paulk was a man who struggled with his morals but had a sound and helpful message to offer the world. That too, is incorrect. The “Kingdom Now Theology” as perpetrated by Earl Paulk was not a great message that he released to the mainline churches. His was a message that focused for over a decade on Earl Paulk’s personal spiritual authority. That authority he abused to an amazing degree. It led to his concept of “Kingdom relationships”, the very means by which he justified his sexual indiscretions. He held cult-like power over several women (eight came forward and testified to this!). Those who attended the church during that time can witness to the sheer volume of concentration on authority in his preaching. Spiritual authority translated to mean Earl Paulk’s authority. He used this teaching to act willfully without challenge. How often he quoted “Touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm” to instill fear in the hearers and foil any challenges to the direction he wished to take the church. He used his female consort as his “chief discerner” to pave the way for him. If someone disagreed or took issue with him, she would “discern” an evil spirit in that person to discredit them publicly. It was a crass form of spiritual manipulation and social control. Is that the work of a man after God’s own heart? CHHC/ Cathedral was/is a family owned and operated business. The people had no say in the matters financial. They gave and gave and gave as the Paulk family squandered their sacrificial oblations. This was the fruit of Earl Paulk’s Kingdom message. It would not surprise me if that clan passes the offering plates at EP’s funeral. They already are trying to spin the facts and turn him into a demigod. Notice how he groomed and handpicked his own nephew (who is his son) to succeed him as senior pastor. When Donnie earl Paulk took the reigns of power, he fired Earl Paulk’s most zealous defenders and disciples who were not family members. So much for their mindless loyalty, I suppose. Earl Paulk fits the profile, not of a man of God, but of a false prophet. His fruit was bad. The devastated lives and lost faith in young believers leads me to recall the terrible words of Jesus about those who cause little ones to sin. There was something in that passage about a millstone if memory serves. His teaching was perverse. The books, written mostly by his ghostwriters, contained many theological and ethical errors that need correcting. He did not leave behind a legacy of a great message. He left behind spiritually devastated Christians and many who gave up on the Christian faith altogether. I would like someone, anyone, who sat under his ministry to explain what his message really was. What unique thing did he bring to the table that has not been within the greater church for 2,000 years? Earl Paulk did leave something good behind. He left three daughters who were strong enough to walk away years ago heartbroken and torn. They saw the error of their father and in act of enormous courage and great cost to themselves withstood him and his Discerner. My heart goes out to the two remaining Paulk girls (as Becky has already departed to her God). Though they stood against Earl Paulk and bore the brunt of his lies and denunciations, they still lost a father and that must be exquisitely painful. My prayers are for them.

  14. Earl was a legend in his own mind and apparently in Jeff’s mind, too. However, EP’s shenanigans are already well known. In the following days and months, more will become clear. Many whom EP hurt, lied about, vilified, sued and cursed will listen to the revision of history spun by the Cathedral bunch. They will find their voice. They will watch the crass way the Cathedral bunch will exploit EP’s death to get money (through the sell of tapes and books, establish memorial funds, etc.). These victims and former followers of Paulk will tell their stories.

     

    It would prove wiser for the Paulk family to keep quiet and try to weather this with as little public exposure as possible. After all, they already have Jeff doing the whitewash job for them. Jeff busies himself placing his “Tribute” to Earl Paulk on many venues trying to rehabilitate the reputation of a man who stands under God’s judgment.  When he writes, "One of History’s great men of God has passed away; Bishop Earl Paulk went home to be with the Lord during the evening of March 29, 2009. Countless thousands and millions by extension throughout the earth have been touched by the positive message of the Gospel of the Kingdom," I have to chuckle.  A great man of God in history? C’mon. EP made a mess of things.

     

    Meanwhile, the Cathedral itself is imploding, drifting into the new "Gospel of inclusivity". Whatever Kingdom message Earl Paulk preached they have certainly abandoned whatever of Christ remained in the preaching of Earl for another gospel. Come to think of it, I can’t recall that much mention of Jesus Christ in the preaching of Earl. His message was mostly about spiritual authority…his.

     

    DEP leads the sheeple into that broad path where the scripture comes true, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4 I wish it was not true. With EP’s death, they have a chance to return to basic Christianity and follow Jesus again. However, it appears that the direction has been set. Too many people depended on EP’s “covering” to now come forward and come clean. They remain under his thrall and will it that way. As the Apostle stated that some people “…perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness”.2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

  15. God judges the heart and not the sin. God looks to see what caused a person to sin.
    The average person is judgemental and will throw a scripture at you with a quickness. I feel pretty sure that Bishop Paulk is in heaven.

  16. .”..the adulterous will not inherit the kingdon of heaven.”
    Sorry , doesn’t matter what we think is right , what matters is what God says in His word
    . Only a repented person, that confesses that Jesus is Lord and lives according to His word will have eternal life. The rest is human ideas.

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