Another prominent male pastor being accused of having a thing for men! Bishop Eddie L. Long, senior pastor of Newbirth Missionary Baptist church, has been accused by two Georgia men, Anthony Flagg & Maurice Robinson, in two lawsuits of coercing them into sex. The lawsuits, which were filed Tuesday in Dekalb County, Georgia, court by widely respected attorney B.J. Bernstein (Brenda Joy Bernstein) allege that Long, who loves to brag about his material possessions, used his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his church into sex. I hope more people who have had the same experience will come forward and let their voices be heard. These allegations are shocking, but in this age of fallen pastors, it isn’t surprising. Think Ted Haggard, Earl Paulk, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, etc., and all the extramarital affairs they had. Still, let us all reserve judgment until the truth comes to light.
Maurice Robinson’s lawsuit specifically names Andrew Moman, Anthony Render, and April McLaughlin as employees of Long would often accompanied he and the plaintiff on the overnight trips. The lawsuit even alleges that a Chevy Malibu was purchased for Mr. Robinson to use by the church. Still, where are the parents of these two young men, specifically since they allege Long cherry-picked them to have a “sexual relationship.” Flagg alleges in his lawsuit that he was told by Long to move to a home he chose, Golod House, which is owned by Andrew Moman and he was given a 2000 Mustang convertible to use, which was registered to Darius Wise, an elder in the church. Both men were allegedly placed on the church payroll.
“Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship,” the suits allege.
The pastor took one plaintiff, Anthony Flagg, 21, on overnight trips to a half-dozen American cities in recent years, Flagg’s suit alleges. “Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact,” the suit says.
Long took the other plaintiff, Maurice Murray Robinson, 20, to Auckland, New Zealand, in October 2008 for his 19th birthday and engaged in oral sex with him, Robinson’s suit alleges. “Following the New Zealand Trip, Defendant Long regularly engaged in sexual touching, and other sexual acts with Plaintiff Robinson,” Robinson’s suit alleges. Source: CNN
Of course, Eddie Long’s mouthpiece has vehemently denied the allegations against him and said they will have their day in court. What I find puzzling is why these two young men waited so long to file their lawsuits. They both allegedly went on one trip too many. That’s the same position I took with Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. She said he sexually harassed her repeatedly but she went from job to job with him. Why? Well, I can’t speak to his alleged homosexual tendencies, but I will speak to the hypocrisy emanating from many pulpits across this country. It should be noted that Maurice Robinson was arrested in connection with a June 13, 2010, burglary at New Birth. He claims he did this to get back at Eddie Long. Go figure.
I am a Christian and I used to attend Eddie L. Long’s church in Lithonia when they were constructing the cathedral. I recall one Sunday when my family and I attended, a church leader spent 45 minutes telling us that each household should contribute $2,000 to the building of the church. I was disgusted by that because there were many people in the church who were struggling to make ends meet. To add insult to injury, Eddie L. Long delivered a sermon that was based on material things. He bragged about his Bentley and that he had days when he didn’t know whether he should fly commercial or private. Sorry, but I don’t consider getting my spiritual lessons from someone who is so consumed by the material things in life, knowing that the Bible frowns upon boasting. So, we never went back.
UPDATE#1 (09/21/10): Here are links to the two lawsuits:
Please read the allegations in each lawsuit. The details are salacious and the men are requesting a jury trial. What jumped out at me right away (for lack of a better word!) was the possibility that the Long may have used church money to fund his alleged sexcapades. We’ll see how that shakes out as the trial progresses.
UPDATE#2 (09/22/10): Read a good article on Lynn’s Hicktown Press blog about Eddie L. Long and that he allegedly threatened to commit suicide after his first wife left him, but only after he shot her first. Interesting.
UPDATE#3 (09/22/10): Roland Martin interviewed the plaintiffs’ attorney B.J. Bernstein this morning on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. She told Martin that she would be subpoenaing Long’s phone, e-mail and travel records as the case moves forward. “To say to the world as a young man that you had that happen[to you], the ridicule and scorn that these young men are willing to put themselves through for the truth, is extraordinary,” Bernstein said. If Long feels that this is a shakedown, then why isn’t he using the media to his benefit? I would come out swinging against these allegations if they were untrue.
UPDATE#4 (09/22/10): Frank Ski, V-103 Atlanta’s radio show host of “Frank & Wanda” said he will support Eddie L. Long in this matter. He said he has known him for many years and is a close friend. The show this morning was devoted to the scandal, with many listeners calling in to voice their opinion on the salacious accusations against Long.
UPDATE#5 (09/22/10 11:39 a.m.): I just sent an email to the media firm representing B. J. Bernstein. I asked her three questions and I am waiting for a response. Will update as soon as I hear word from the Guarisco Group. I was told by Ree that B.J. is booked up but she will get back to me as soon as she can.
UPDATE#5 (09/22/10): Powerful blog post by written by prophetess Harriet Cammock on the importance of grace. To read, CLICK HERE.
UPDATE#6 (09/22/10 3:51 p.m. EST): A third lawsuit has been filed accusing Bishop Long of sexual abuse. Attorney B. J. Bernstein is also representing Jamal Paris in his lawsuit. More to follow. We will upload a copy of the lawsuit as soon as it’s available. We blogged about this latest lawsuit HERE.
Watch the video: