Earl Paulk, DeKalb’s frisky “bishop,” to be laid to rest

to be laid to rest

For many years, one of the most interesting running scandals in metro Atlanta was the saga of the Chapel Hill Harvester mega-church and the many, many female parishioners who’d accused the Paulk family patriachs of various acts of sexual misconduct.

Sadly, for us mega-church skeptics, those stories likely have come to an end with the death of “Bishop” Earl Paulk at 81. A funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday in the since-renamed Cathedral of the Holy Spirit on Flat Shoals Road in South DeKalb.

Paulk got the boot from his first pastoring position, at what is now Mount Paran Church of God, back in 1960 for having an extramarital affair. But, like a latter-day Elmer Gantry, he didn’t let that scandal deter him. A few years later, he founded Chapel Hill Harvester Church with his brother Don. The church eventually grew to a membership of around 12,000, but allegations of sexual shenanigans continued to dog the Paulks.