Ex-Megachurch Pastor Earl Paulk Dies in Atlanta Hospital

An evangelical pastor whose leadership of an Atlanta-area megachurch ended in a sex scandal has died.

Atlanta Medical Center said Archbishop Earl Paulk, who was in his 80s, died early Sunday. The hospital could not release a cause of death. Paulk had been in bad health for the past couple of years after a battle with cancer.

A phone listing for Paulk's family could not immediately be found.

Paulk co-founded the Cathedral at Chapel Hill in Decatur and helped grow it to a peak membership of about 10,000 in the early 1990s.

A lawsuit by a female employee sparked a chain of events that ended in Paulk pleading guilty in January 2008 to lying under oath by denying affairs with other women.

A paternity test revealed Paulk was the father of his nephew, who is now leader of the church.