News flooded social media this morning reporting that Bishop Eddie Long has passed. Bishop Long, Senior Pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia was reportedly in bad health after recent appearances shown looking very thin and frail. Long disputed the claims saying that a new diet led to the weight loss but a hospital visit led many to believe that Long was near-death.
Sources close to Bishop Long report that he is suffering from an unspecified gastro-intestinal cancer that has already progressed to stage 4. In his return to the church Long preached “I had some health issues and God has healed me. The manifestation is coming through and we stand in that.””
Gospel Singer Byron Cage commented on Long’s death on his official Twitter page:
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.
In 2010 the mega-church pastor was sued by four men who accused him of coercing them into a sexual relationship. After vowing to fight the accusations, Log reached an out-of-court settlement, saying “This decision was made to bring closure to this matter and to allow us to move forward with the plans God has for this ministry.”
Update: A statement from the New Birth Missionary Baptist 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. 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. First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, Bishop Long’s wife of 27 years offered the following. “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.”
Deeply committed to his church, even in his last days, Bishop Long delivered his final message to New Birth as we ushered in 2017. He told the church that God was already working in our favor and what we have been praying for was already manifested. In his departure, we receive that and as faithful members of New Birth, we praise God for the life of Bishop Long. Bishop Long was known as one of the most influential faith leaders in the world. He stood strong as a Kingdom Builder, pioneering leader, and revolutionary mind changer. Long was a family man and spiritual leader who was well respected and loved for his passion to unapologetically and courageously preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Long inspired thousands of believers around the world through his global ministry that literally changed lives. Through his earthly battle, Bishop Long believed that God was once again using him to help others see the power of the Holy Spirit through the love New Birth displayed to him and the countless prayers sent up by others from every corner of the earth.Bishop Eddie L. Long was 63 years old. He is survived by his beautiful wife, First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, 4 children Eric, Edward, Jared and Taylor and 3 grandchildren. The Long family thanks you for your prayers, condolences and messages of love. The family appreciates your support and respect of their privacy, as they prepare along with New Birth, for the homegoing service to honor Bishop Long. The date and other details will be announced in the near future.