Bishop Eddie L. Long, of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church died Sunday morning. (Jan. 15) at age 63. News of Long’s passing was announced in a statement by the church:
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church celebrates the life and legacy of Bishop Eddie L. Long who is now spiritually healed and home with the Lord. Bishop Long, Senior Pastor of New Birth, transitioned from this life early Sunday morning after a gallant private fight with an aggressive form of cancer.
Long’s wife Vanessa also released a statement on the death of her husband:
“I am confidant through my belief in God that my 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.”
Prior to his passing, there had been some speculation about the state of Eddie Long’s after a video surfaced of the megachurch leader looking extremely thin and almost unrecognizable. The nature of his illness was kept private until his death.
Long was successful in growing the congregation from 300 to 25,000 members. But Long was tangled up in controversy as well. In 2010, he and his church settled a lawsuit filed by four young men who accused him of making sexual advances on them while they were teenagers. Long, who was known to preach against homosexuality, vehemently denied the allegations. In 2011, Vanessa Long filed for divorce amidst the allegations, however the couple later reconciled.
Long is survived by his wife, four children and three grandchildren, the church said. Funeral details will be announced by the church in the near future.
SOURCE: Fox 5 Atlanta | IMAGE CREDIT: Getty