CNN & Roland Martin have reported that Bishop Eddie Long — the Georgia-based head of one of the nation’s largest megachurches — has died, according to the church Long presided over. He was 63.
BREAKING NEWS: @BishopEddieLong, pastor of New Birth in ATL, has died. He was 63.
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) January 15, 2017
“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,” his wife Vanessa Long .‘Deeply committed to his church, even in his last days, Bishop Long delivered his final message to New Birth as we ushered in 2017. He told the church that God was already working in our favor and what we have been praying for was already manifested. In his departure, we receive that and as faithful members of New Birth, we praise God for the life of Bishop Long. Bishop Long was known as one of the most influential faith leaders in the world. He stood strong as a Kingdom Builder, pioneering leader, and revolutionary mind changer. Long was a family man and spiritual leader who was well respected and loved for his passion to unapologetically and courageously preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Long inspired thousands of believers around the world through his global ministry that literally changed lives. Through his earthly battle, Bishop Long believed that God was once again using him to help others see the power of the Holy Spirit through the love New Birth displayed to him and the countless prayers sent up by others from every corner of the earth.’
Some of his parishioners were visibly shocked by how much his battle with cancer had changed his appearance.
This really Bishop Eddie Long? Yikes! pic.twitter.com/p4uVzkltem
— DJ Archie Wonder🎧 (@ArchieWonder) January 3, 2017
This was the last tweet Bishop Eddie Long sent before his death
— Bishop Eddie L. Long (@BishopEddieLong) January 14, 2017
Bishop Eddie Long was accused of having sexual relations with four of his male parishioners. This came as a surprise to many as for many years he had been establishing an ‘anti-gay persona’.
They claimed Long used Biblical quotes to justify their sexual activities.
The four men said the sexual misconduct happened when they were 17 and 18 years old, beyond the age of consent in Georgia, which is 16 years old.
Police did not press criminal charges as a result.
Long, denied the accusations at the time and settled the case in May 2011. The terms remained undisclosed.
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