Southern Voice, 3/6/09: In 2006, [D.E. Paulk became] the senior pastor at Chapel Hill Harvester Church, located in South Decatur. Built by his father, Don Paulk, and his uncle, Bishop Earl Paulk, the 4,000-member church was one of the largest independent, racially diverse churches in the nation.
Soon after [taking] over as senior pastor, [D.E.] faced what he now collectively calls "the scandal." A number of women came forward alleging Earl Paulk used his influence as bishop to coerce them into sexual relationships....Earl Paulk was forced to undergo a paternity test to see if he had fathered several children in the church.
The paternity test revealed that Earl Paulk, the man D.E. Paulk grew up believing was his uncle, was actually his biological father....[A]s these scandals rocked the church...D.E. Paulk found the strength to say what was in his heart: "They stayed through the adultery allegations, the racketeering charges...the majority of the people stayed," he adds. "It wasn't really until I started teaching gay inclusion and other religious thought [that people began to leave]."
Under fire from his congregation...and marred by his family's legacy, Paulk considered leaving...."We had nothing left, we had no reputation, and that's maybe the best thing that ever happened to us because it freed us from all the fear."
Paulk began to...move toward what he calls "radical inclusion" and away from Christianity. He also began work on his new book, I Don't Know...The Way of Knowing [which] outlines his beliefs, a multi-national mixture of Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism and other religious thought....He refers to God as "The Christ" who takes many forms, including Jesus. "I think the goal of the book is to get people to admit that they don't know as much as they might think they know," he says.
[TBC: The goal of religion today seems to be "ignorance is bliss!" On the other hand, Jesus said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."]