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.  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. 

  5. 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. 

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. .”..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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