Funeral Set for Former Megachurch Leader

By Christopher Quinn
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 30, 2009

Archbishop Earl Paulk, a metro Atlanta pastor whose fame and megachurch ministry crumbled under accusations of sexual improprieties, will be buried Saturday.

The funeral will be at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at 4650 Flat Shoals Parkway in Decatur beginning at 1 p.m.

Visitation will be from noon until 9 p.m. Friday in the $25 million church where 10,000 members once came to hear Paulk preach. The family will be there beginning at 6 p.m.

The 81-year-old minister died Sunday from cancer.

Archbishop Paulk and his brother Donnie built the church into a charismatic congregation known for being in the forefront of social movements, such as racial integration, helping drug abusers and ordaining women. Archbishop Paulk became so well known that he was invited to the White House prayer breakfast under President Ronald Reagan.

His reputation began disintegrating in the early 1990s, when a series of women accused him and others at the church of manipulating them into sexual relationships. He denied the accusations.

Mona Brewer, a singer, sued him in 2005 for sexual misconduct, saying he coerced her into an affair. The suit is unresolved, but a DNA test ordered showed he fathered a son with his brother’s wife.

Archbishop Paulk had sworn in an affidavit he’d never had sex with anyone but his wife, which led to him pleading guilty to a felony charge of lying under oath. He was sentenced to 10 years probation and a $1,000 fine.

He spent the last two years in ill health, though he made occasional short appearances at the church, now up for sale and pastored by his son, D.E. Paulk.


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