Posts Tagged ‘Earl Paulk’

Earl Paulk will go down in ecumenical infamy as a preacher with more soil under his collar than the dude who does my landscaping.

During the hullabaloo of his legal issues before his timelyer, unexpected death, Paulk sold the Cathedral at Chapel Hill for what surmised to legal fees and a two-piece dinner at Long John Silvers.

Well, the Holy Spirit was asked to leave a while ago

Well, the Holy Spirit was asked to leave a while ago

And now, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the former haven of hedonism has been sold to the Greater Traveler’s Rest Baptist Church for $17.6 million.

This was one of the largest religious facilities available in the United States,” Matt Messier, broker and principal for CNL, said in a release. “We are happy to have brokered a successful outcome for a property of this size, especially in today’s challenging economic climate.”

No kidding. It was 51 acres, 6,000 seats and fully equipped with a large fellowship hall, offices, classrooms and, oh yeah, a movie theater. Because there’s always the need to screen the latest flick by TBN for date night.

Rumor is, Paulk had many of those.

Anywhoo, on August 30, the church led by Pastor E. Dewey Smith will change Paulk’s former home into “The Hope Cathedral.”

Congratulations, Pastor. It’s truly a benchmark in the 132 years of your church.

May the anointing of God break every yoke that was upon that place when you take foot in the pulpit for the first time… and bathe that thing in Crisco oil. Just sayin’.

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Bishop Earl Paulk:

A face only a jail... eh, mother could love.

A face only a jail... eh, mother could love.

Here’s the million-dollar question: What’s his legacy?

Is he a remarkable man whose ministry began at the age of 17 and spawned a megachurch amidst urban sprawl in Atlanta, seen by millions on TBN and attended by tens of thousands?

Or, is he an octogenarian debauchee whose reputation for getting handsy since the 60s (allegedly), has countless cases against for sexual harassment and allowed his son believe he was his nephew for more than 30 years?!

Either way, he’s notable, that’s for certain. But, is that a good thing?!

Don Paulk, a retired minister [and his brother, but more about that later] at the Cathedral, said he hoped people would remember Earl for his good works and forgive the scandals. “Preachers are just like anyone else — they’re a man,” he said.

Yes, “they are a man” [bad grammar alert, but hey, he’s a preacher so cut him some slack].

BUT… do they have to lie under oath about being an unscrupulous perv, practice “laying on of hands” to his choir leaders and see his megachurch attendance go from 12,000 to less than 1,000 in months as a result of your deceit?!

I can’t say I was ever a fan, but when you have a national ministry like his was, and an apparent anointing like he did, you should appreciate the mantle God placed upon him… despite the trophies of debauchery, aberration and prevarication he laid proudly on that joker.

That said, what does it say about a man who in a matter of mere months sold his church for $24 million, plead guilty for lying under oath – you know, as in laid a hand on the bible he was supposed to be so familiar – and then died practically alone, ridden with cancer, hand-in-hand with the brother whose son was actually his (yeah, I just can’t get past that part)?

As recently noted in CNN from Paulk’s real nephew:

“As most of you know, my family has been walking through a very long nightmare season in connection with things concerning him,” [said nephew, Bishop Jim] Swilley wrote in his blog post. “Please pray for some much needed healing and closure for us all.”

Prayers won’t do Paulk any good. And although I’m sure he’s hanging with Jesus right now, many people are thinking with their carnal hat and considering the other path for good ol’ Pauley Paulk.

Again, what does that say about his legacy? I once heard a pastor say, “Live as if the town gossip lives with you.”

That mentality creates accountability. And accountability breeds integrity. The thing of which it seems Earl lacked more than parishoners. The thing that should be never be said of anyone who goes by the title “Bishop”, much less “man of God.”

His legacy, you ask? Perhaps quoting a preacher with a little less more luggage than what the Beverly Hillbillies trotted over to the Hollywood Hills would be appropriate as an epitaph:

Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.

Rev. Dr. Billy Graham

Godspeed, Earl. Some say you will need it to outrun the demons who will be chasing you down.

I once heard a pastor, whom I greatly admire, say something that made the “Great Commission” make all the sense in the world:

“The number one reason for Atheism in this country is the actions of most people who call themselves Christians.”

Amen! And evidently, a recent survey noted by USA Today suggests that to not only be prolific, but also prognostication.

A new survey of U.S. adults who don’t go to church, even on holidays, finds 72% say “God, a higher or supreme being, actually exists.” But just as many (72%) also say the church is “full of hypocrites.” Indeed, 44% agree with the statement “Christians get on my nerves.”

prayer-2You know, I should write this in ALL CAPS (and in bold) so you could hear my voice reverberating on these walls as I shout and yawp about the need for the whole Church to wake up, stand up and man (or woman) up!

And for the rest of us, we just need to pray like life depended on it! And it does.

There is no greater pool of humanity where the rotten apples spoil the proverbial bunch than Christianity, which is why the zealots, the realists, the devoted and the public need to be the best witnesses possible…

…and the televised, the cults, the sects, the fake, the rich and famous and the uh, “prosperous” need to realize the error of their ways.

Why? This is all your fault!

Huh?!

What does it say that “more than one in five” Americans would rather not go to church and humanistically believe in God than act like some of the fools and charlatans seen on a religious TV broadcast near you?! Don’t get me wrong, I thank God for Christian television – its premise, not what it’s become.

What it needs to be is a beacon of hope, the salt of the earth, a light in the darkness, a city set on a hill. It’s not.

Why? Consider the string of stories seen on TV that best represent God to the common person, the average believer:

Jim Jones, Robert Tilton, Warren Jeffs, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Pat Robertson, Earl Paulk, Paula White, Todd Bentley, Carlton Pearson, David Koresh, Oral & Richard Roberts, Michael Guglielmucci, Mike Murdoch, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, and on… and on… and on… and on… and on.

There’s a lot of faith in that dank room, a lot of influence and notoriety, and a lot of serious issues! However, these are some of the collective misfits folk call to memory when asked, “Who represents the Body of Christ?”

wwjd-for-realRight, wrong or indifferent: it’s always the vocal minority, the swarthy tail that wags the dog all day long. And they are it. To that end, it’s the mission of the real Christians, the living epistles to change those unfortunate and misguided perceptions.

It’s a dubious task, but if you’re up to it, our work could pay big dividends for the persecuted, the passionate and the pronounced in a world of people who really can’t stand us. Sure, we are nice people and folk in the workplace like us, they really like us.

But they watch us like hawks waiting for us to plummet in a whirlwind of sin that would take out a small village in Indonesia. And they would applaud all the while chalking up our names to the growing list of noteworthy evangelists and “other prominent folk who call themselves religious” all in the name to say, “I told you so.”

In other words, their actions aren’t doing us any favors. God is faithful but some of those who pass themselves off as “his people” are not so much.

God blesses us with money and sustenance, but those folk are chock full of greed. God gives us grace, but those nitwits with false humility ball that gift up and hurl it back into our faces. And what we have been attempting to tell the throngs quoted in this pathetic survey: God’s son is the way, the truth and the life but regretfully no one is coming to the Father because of “them.”

Most of the unchurched (86%) say they believe they can have a “good relationship with God without belonging to a church.” And 79% say “Christianity today is more about organized religion than loving God and loving people.”

Pastors and parishioners alike, if you don’t read a forsaken, plotted word I type, please read this: there is a distinct and incontrovertible reason why churches tend to be emptier these days… it’s the nasty church folk running all the good, unsaved folk out the door in the name of “being spiritual.”

Ever hear the adage, “You can be so spiritually minded that you are no earthly good”?

Yeah, neither have the people who have caused the 72 percent exodus of potential believers. Get real, Church. We have a job to do. You up to it? If so, see you in the trenches. Trust me, there will be plenty of room!

Peace.

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience.”

George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)

Ah, man. Where’s a good playwright when you need one to talk to the Church? So, did TV land hear that adage? TBN? Daystar? Someone? Anyone?

It’s important to ask the two big faith-based networks because it’s their clientele pulling back the curtain and their shows for network TV.

Need I say more?

Need I say more?

Go ahead, name the preacher… to whom you used to give offerings? Jakes, Parsley, Meyer, White, Hinn, Robertson, Dollar, Long, Dobson, et al. According to this story in the USA Today, even the celebrities of Christendom are feeling the pinch in this economy.

The industry shows signs of contraction at a time when its future is fraught with uncertainty. And it’s not just the economic downturn that is causing turmoil: last year, a study found that the percentage of megachurches with a radio ministry dropped from 44% in 2000 to 24% in 2008. Likewise, the percentage with television ministries dropped from 38% to 23%.

When Christian television was created, its premise was to exalt God and see people edified. Nowadays, that formula for success is a bit askew as money seems to be exalted and preachers are deified.

To save on production costs and those picturesque, on-location remotes, these folk have made fewer shows for broadcast, which means the networks don’t get their coin.

See, it’s cyclical – you payer, donate to the ministry, they pay the network and a star is born.

In this economy, you don’t… and they don’t… and Christian television becomes a black hole.

You see, when folk presume you are dripping with cash, hand-made suits and all that bling, they keep their cash and you get stuck with a larger bill. MEMO to the megachurch megaminister: If perhaps you appeared more modest, people would find more than lint in that piggy bank bellybutton to give you. Just like it used to be. However…

“The industry is at a crossroads,” says Paul Creasman, associate professor of communications at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, S.C., and a former Christian radio personality and producer. “The audience is dwindling, and they have to figure out what to do. But the Web is not the answer because older audiences don’t use the Internet… and younger audiences will go to the Web for content, but they’ll probably be less likely to donate.”

Moving content online may be broadcasting’s future, but it’s a nerve-wracking endeavor that doesn’t necessarily pay the bills of the present. “Everyone (in religious broadcasting) is doing it,” he said. “And everyone is asking each other: ‘Are you making money at it? Because we’re not.‘”

Listen, in case it’s a news flash to some folk, ministries have to ask for money to survive. They rely on the kind hearts, open minds and yielding spirits of the Body of Christ to give. If the world can uphold causes like breast cancer, the MDA, HIV, Katrina and a tsunami, certainly a ministry shouldn’t be that far out of reach?!

The problem is that people don’t see the ministry being blessed, it’s the ministers. We have all seen the stories and heard the tales of woe. When those cease, despite the beneficence of some on TBN and Daystar who are doing it right, money will drop.

Kinda like pennies from heaven, and wouldn’t all of that be an experience man could learn from?

(Masonry shout out to Another Brick in the Wall, “Get Religion” for the nice magazine cover).


little-house-on-the-hazy2

NEWS FLASH: He just “bought the farm”. News at 11. R.I.P.

In the early 70s, Bishop Earl Paulk built one of the first major televised ministries from the beacon at The Cathedral at Chapel Hill in Atlanta, Georgia.

You may have seen this fraudulent tool. He was plastered all over the Good Ol’ Boys’ network (affectionately known as TBN), his son did his best Vanilla Ice impression and all the world was their stage.

Now, well past his own early 70s, the jig is up and the church is for sale to the tune of $24.5 million, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Why? Well, let’s allow this story opening serve as the microcosm of what went wrong with this fool:

Today, the church is called Cathedral at Chapel Hill and is run by the Rev. D.E. Paulk, who grew up thinking he was Earl Paulk’s nephew but later learned he is his son. Church membership dwindled from more than 10,000 two decades ago to about 1,000 today because of sexual misconduct allegations against Earl Paulk and other ministers.

So, in an unavoidable attempt to save face – and real estate value – we have this bit of hilarity:

“As the message and expression of our ministry has transitioned to become more open and radically inclusive of all people, we realize the ministry can be facilitated in a smaller and more urban location,” he said.

Yeah. That, or the fact you, many other dudes surnamed Paulk, including your old man, can’t help but be handsy to the worshipers of a certain female persuasion.

In February, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a woman and her husband that alleged Earl Paulk engaged in a 14-year affair with the woman. The couple and their lawyer were ordered to pay legal fees of more than $1 million; they have filed an appeal.

You know, I have friends in the ATL and am familiar to a few other houses of which their shrewd real estate agent can interest them. I believe those houses start with “Crack” and “Out”. Suitable for drug fiend pieces of crap like this.