Bishop Eddie L. Long, of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church died Sunday morning. (Jan. 15) He was 63-years-old. News of Long’s death came by way of the church who released a statement.
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 of 27 years Vanessa also released a statement saying while she’s sad her husband has died, she’s happy he’s at peace.
“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.”
News of Long’s death began to spread online with many taking to social media to express their condolences about the senior pastor of the megachurch.
My heart is heavy, but God is in control. See you in the rapture Bishop Eddie Long. It was my honor to serve New Birth for 12 years.
— Byron Cage (@RealByronCage) January 15, 2017
I just heard that Eddie Long has passed away. WOW.
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) January 15, 2017
We lost a solider today Bishop Eddie Long. May The Lord Bless His Soul and keep his family in all ways of righteousness.
— @SLChanges (@IAMTELLINGIT) January 15, 2017
Eddie Long started out as a pastor at New Birth in 1987 with just 300 members, and the church would eventually grow to 25,000 becoming one of Georgia’s most recognized. While Long was undeniably a gifted pastor, he was not without controversy. In 2010, four men from the congregation leveled a lawsuit against Long alleging he made sexual advances towards them and sexual molestation. Long kept silent, but eventually spoke to his congregation to refute the claims made against him.
“I am not the man that has been portrayed on television,” he said. “I’ve been accused, I’m under attack… I want you to know, as I said earlier, that I am not a perfect man. But this thing, I’m going to fight. I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet.”