ATLANTA – The 80-year-old leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch has been charged with lying under oath, court documents show. A warrant for the arrest of Archbishop Earl Paulk, co-founder of Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church, was issued Monday, according to court documents. Paulk was making arrangements Monday night to turn himself in to authorities, WAGA-TV reported.
Paulk’s attorneys did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press for comment.
Former church employee Mona Brewer is suing Paulk, his brother, Don, and the church for allegedly manipulating her into an affair from 1989 to 2003 by telling her it was her only path to salvation. 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 results of a court-ordered paternity test revealed in October that Paulk is the biological father of his brother’s son, D.E. Paulk, who is now head pastor at the family’s church. As part of Brewer’s lawsuit, eight women have given sworn depositions that they were coerced into sexual relationships with Earl Paulk.
A judge ordered the paternity test at the request of the Cobb County district attorney’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which were investigating Paulk.
Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head declined comment when reached at his home Monday night.
Paulk and his brother, Don, have been hit with multiple lawsuits from former members alleging they were coerced into sexual affairs, but this is the first time criminal charges have been filed against the archbishop.