Bishop Earl Paulk of the Chapel Hill Harvester megachurch and a former church employee are embroiled in a legal battle over her claims that Paulk coerced her to have sex with him and others by claiming it was God’s will.
Paulk filed papers Thursday in DeKalb Superior Court answering a lawsuit filed Aug. 31 by Mona Brewer and her husband, Bobby Brewer. Paulk denied their allegations and countersued them for libel and slander, saying they lied about him in their lawsuit and in statements to others.
The only point not in dispute is that Paulk acted as Mona Brewer’s spiritual adviser as well as her employer at the church in south DeKalb. Mona Brewer claims that Paulk began a “pattern of conduct” around 1989 that eventually led her “to believe that her only route to salvation was to engage in sexual acts at the request of Bishop Earl Paulk.”
Brewer’s lawsuit said Paulk required her to have sex with him, “other members of the church community … [and] leaders of other churches as well as his family members, sometimes with other individuals observing the sexual acts.”
The suit also seeks damages from the church, its related corporations and Paulk’s brother, Don Paulk, who is affiliated with the church. The suit claims the Paulks and others covered up the sexual abuse.
She claimed church employees urged her to keep quiet, and some employees were paid to remain silent. She accused unspecified defendants of “threatening to kill individuals who may possess damaging information about Bishop Earl Paulk.”
Bobby Brewer also claimed he has not been repaid after lending $400,000 to Earl Paulk or a church entity in 2001.
Earl Paulk’s court filing said the Brewers’ claims were “false and malicious.” In addition to seeking compensation for emotional distress and harm to his reputation, he asked the court to award him punitive damages because of the Brewers’ “willful misconduct.”
Also this week, Chapel Hill Harvester Church filed a request to block Bobby Brewer’s attempts to place liens on church property in lieu of the alleged $400,000 debt.
The case has not yet been scheduled for a hearing before Superior Court Judge Mark Scott.