Atlanta megachurch pastor Eddie Long dies after losing the battle to cancer on Jan. 15, 2017, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church announced. He was 63 years old.
The news release says he died after “a gallant private fight with an aggressive form of cancer.” “As a man of God with unyielding faith, Bishop Long maintained his commitment to our Heavenly Father as he proclaimed that cancer would not kill his faith nor his spirit.”
His wife, Vanessa Long, said, “I am confident 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 love him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he’s at peace.”
You will recall Eddie Long was embroiled in a scandal involving his relationship with several young men who attended his church. He was accused of plying them with money and cars, among other things.
Long eventually settled the case and remained relatively low key in later years. The scandal sent shockwaves through the religious community and led to a huge drop in membership at New Birth. Long was also embroiled in an investment scandal in the late 2000s, involving Ephren Taylor Jr.
Here’s the reaction on Twitter (there will be some mockery):
RIP Bishop Eddie Long…That's all I got…
— Willis Bolden (@nyknick4lyfe) January 15, 2017
Is Eddie Long gone for real?
— ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀ (@callmedollar) January 15, 2017
I'm hoping Bishop Eddie Long's death leads to honest discussions in black churches.
— joey coco (@_Bleggy_) January 15, 2017
RIP Bishop Eddie Long. He died today at 63 after a long battle with stage 4 gastro-intestinal cancer. Prayers to his friends & family.
— NUFF$AID (@nuffsaidNY) January 15, 2017
When we cn hv honest dialogue abt sexuality & stop demonizing ppl for who they love The Downlow Phenomenon will cease to exist. #EddieLong
— Mona Symone (@TheMonaSymone) January 15, 2017
After mourning the loss of #EddieLong hopefully we will have the courage to denounce the harm he did to his victims and the LGBTQ community.
— Mark Zustovich (@markzustovich) January 15, 2017
yeah I just can't feel bad #EddieLong wasn't my pastor and definitely wouldn't have remained my pastor after he messed with them little boys
— A. (@lexbelike) January 15, 2017