this month, the campus of the Cathedral at Chapel Hill, well known for
its neo-Gothic, 6,000-seat sanctuary, is one of the largest religious
facilities currently available in the United States, said Matt Messier,
a Florida broker and principal of CNL Real Estate Services of Orlando,
Fla., according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
recent years, membership at the Cathedral at Chapel Hill has declined
from 10,000 regular attendees to roughly 1,000 after a series of sexual
misconduct allegations against Paulk, 81. Current pastor D.E. Paulk,
who grew up believing Earl Paulk was his uncle but recently learned he
was his biological father, said the sale was triggered in part by the
church’s evolving mission to be inclusive of people of diverse
religions and sexual orientations.
we have become a ‘radically inclusive’ church our need for space has
lessened considerably. ... If we were to preach an exclusive message we
would need more space,” D.E. Paulk said. “The mission of the Cathedral
has not changed, only expanded to include all of God's
creation—Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, gay, straight, etc.”
Paulk, who also leads a group called the Pro-Love Organization, has
advocated for gay rights in recent years and is an associate of the
controversial preacher Carlton Pearson, who teaches that all people,
not just Christians, are saved. In an interview with Charisma magazine,
D.E. Paulk also alluded to universalism, saying the Cathedral does not
seek to convert but to “convince everyone of Christ’s love.”
believe that Christ was successful, not a failure,” D.E. Paulk said.
“Christ came to ‘reconcile the world to God,’ and we confess that
Christ succeeded and ‘finished’ this work. If Christ was successful
then the world was converted at Calvary. Salvation, then, becomes an
awakening to God's free gift—not a conversion.”
Paulk, wife of D.E. Paulk and a pastor at the Cathedral, said the
church property was valued at $31 million two years ago, but the price
was lowered because of the economic downturn. She told the Journal-Constitution
that the facilities were not being sold to pay legal expenses related
to civil actions involving Earl Paulk, who has been hounded by claims
of sexual misconduct since he was accused of committing adultery in
February, a judge dismissed the most recent action against Earl Paulk.
The lawsuit filed by Mona Brewer and her husband, Bobby, alleged that
Paulk coerced the woman into a 14-year affair. The couple and their
attorney were ordered to pay more than $1 million in legal fees. They
are appealing the decision.
Although Earl Paulk remains archbishop of the church, he is not active in its daily operations. [charismamag.com, 11/13/08]