Bishop Eddie Long, the controversial leader of one of the nation’s
largest megachurches, has died, according to the suburban Atlanta church
he presided over. He was 63.
Long died after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer, according to a statement by the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
Long was a national figure and one of the most innovative and
polarizing pastors in the contemporary church. He was also a paradox.
He was a preacher who led an infamous March against same-sex marriage
and denounced homosexuality, but he also settled a lawsuit by four
young men who said he pressured them into sexual relationships.
He was a man who wore tight muscle shirts and radiated
self-confidence but used to throw up before sermons because he was so
He was a man who gave away cars and paid the college tuition of needy
people, but he also was investigated by Congress after a charity he
created had provided him with a million-dollar home and a Bentley luxury
“When he spoke, black people all over the country listened to him,”
said Shayne Lee, a sociologist who studies the black Pentecostal church.
“He was part of the repackaging of Christianity for post-civil rights
Long’s wife, who stood by him through his rise and fall from national fame, released a statement.
“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,”
Vanessa Long said.
Source – CNN