Photo: Georgia Voice
According to a statement by the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Bishop Eddie Long has died at the age of 63.
The cause of death was a long battle with an aggressive form of cancer.
Long was a national figure in the church. He was a preacher against same-sex marriage and denounced homosexuality.
Long also settled a lawsuit by Anthony Flagg, Maurice Robinson, Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande in 2010. The four young men stated that Long pressured them into sexual relationships. Long denied the allegations against him. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
The four accusers released a statement about the passing of Bishop Eddie Long.
“As much as we’d like to make a statement about the passing of Bishop Eddie Long, we’ve all decided to remain silent, for now. We’re all brothers in this. Our perspectives will be addressed in our book, Foursaken, which we hope to release soon,” the group’s statement reads.
Bishop Eddie Long was a man who wore tight muscle shirts and had self-confidence. He would give away cars and pay the college tuition to people in need. But Long was also investigated by Congress after a charity he created had provided him with a million-dollar home and a Bentley luxury car.
“When he spoke, black people all over the country listened to him. He was part of the repackaging of Christianity for post-civil rights African-Americans,” said Shayne Lee, a sociologist who studies the black Pentecostal church.
Vanessa Long, Bishop Eddie Long’s wife, released this statement about the death of her husband.
“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,” she said.
Services for his funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on January 25 at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, 6400 Woodrow Rd. in Lithonia.
According to Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory, visitations are from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. January 24, at the church. Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory are in charge of arrangements.
Source: CNN.com, AJC.com, & BET.com