The senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Bishop Eddie L. Long has died. The news was confirmed by the church. Long was 63-years-old. The statement released by Bishop Christopher C. Smith read, "Today it is with great sadness I announce that our bishop has transitioned. He's no longer in pain. He's no longer dealing with the complications that he had to deal with."
After much speculation about his drastic weight loss, although Long never confirmed what he was dealing with, the church did announced that he died after battling "a gallant private fight with an aggressive form of cancer.” The statement also included that Long, "maintained his commitment to God as he proclaimed that cancer would not kill his faith nor his spirit."
Long’s wife, First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, of 27 years who filed for divorce after allegations that he had sexual relationships with young men in his church, pulled the divorced papers and stayed with her husband after the case was settled. She said in a statement that, "she is confident through her belief in God that her husband is now resting in a better place. "Although, his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he’s at peace."
During his last visit at the church, he looked different, but was in great spirits. He told the congregation that, "God was already working in our favor and what we have been praying for was already manifested." Although many are sad about his passing, a few are not sure if to honor this great man of God, due to the 2010 lawsuit filed by former members of New Birth church. Maurice Robinson, Spencer LeGrande, Anthony Flagg and Jamal Parris, alleged that bishop Long "used his influence, trips, gifts and jobs to coerce them into sexual relationships." Due to all of the media coverage and the time away, affecting his ministry, Long was advised to settled out of court and move on. This settlement led many to assumed that Long was guilty because no man of God would have settled. They would have fought for their great name in court. After losing a few members and colleagues, Long family stayed by his side and his church continued to flourish. He is survived by his wife, First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, four children: Eric, Edward, Jared and Taylor; and three grandchildren. The dates for his 'home-going' will be listed at a later time. His daughter Taylor, posted the below message on one of her social media pages. Praying for the family.
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