Troubled And Beloved: Bishop Eddie Long Dies at 63

The Troubled and Beloved Bishop Leaves Behind Grieving Parishioners and Mystery

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Bishop Eddie Long, the embattled bishop of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia (a suburb of Atlanta), passed away on January 15th as the world celebrated the birthday of Civil Rights Icon, Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Long, who served as senior pastor of the megachurch grew the membership from 300 members when he took over in 1987 to over 25,000 at the height of his career in ministry.

 

Long also established a presence in Charlotte, North Carolina under the guidance of Apostle Terrell Murphy who’s now since started his own ministry.

 

At the height of Bishop Long’s career, he was very influential in reaching young converts with his message of hope and prosperity.

 

He was known for his flamboyant style, impeccable dress and taking pride in the keeping up of a strong fitness regimen in addition to his spiritual and religious practices, which later came under question.

 

It was widely noted in his churches, women held submissive roles, often seen as supporting roles in his most visible ministries. There were complaints by many who began to question such practices and began to feel oppressed in many ways. Some women complained of being coerced to stay in unhealthy relationships due to an archaic view of men and women’s roles at his churches.

 

In Atlanta, he was regarded as a spiritual leader to local and national figures and had influence inside and outside the black church. He was well-connected with politicians and officiated the funeral of Coretta Scott King at his New Birth Atlanta-based church and was a confidante and counselor to Bernice King, who was also a leader at his church.

Bishop Eddie Long, Angela Bassett, and Usher

 

In 2010, Bishop Long was accused of engaging in sexual acts with fatherless young men of his church who referred to him as their ‘spiritual father’ and thus marked the fall of Bishop Long and the New Birth empire.

 

After a public battle to protect his legacy and his marriage, his ministries suffered greatly with many influential acquaintances and long-standing relationships becoming estranged. Including his marriage, which is unclear if his wife, Vanessa Long, went through with divorce proceedings that she filed after learning of the sexual allegations against him.

 

In September of 2016, Bishop Long reported he was fighting a mystery illness but declared he was healed, though many speculated he was attempting to make light of a more serious illness.

 

His family issued a statement and confirmed that Bishop Long succumbed to an aggressive form of cancer.

 

Photo: source


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