Controversial minister Bishop Eddie Long has reportedly passed away.
Full story below…
Details are in-coming, however a number of prominent figures in the Gospel industry have begun taking to social media to express their grief. Singer Byron Cage is one of them.
He wrote moments ago on Twitter:
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
Meanwhile, Kevin Bond – a minister of music at Long’s New Birth Ministry Baptist Church -wrote on Facebook:
My sincere prayers go out to the Family of Bishop Eddie Long & the entire New Birth Church Family in the passing of Bishop Eddie Long. RIP
No word on the cause of death, however Long found himself in headlines (again) last August when his diminished appearance led to questions surrounding his health.
At the time, he fessed up to be being unwell, but didn’t elaborate. He simply said in a video clip…
“I’m on the medicine that God gave you to feed your immune system to build you up. You know what, if you really want to move through this world and have influence, you gotta be spiritual and you have to walk by his commandments and you have to be healthy.”
In October, he told his congregation “I’ve been on a journey and just recalibrating myself.”
As a popular Atlanta-based preacher, Long was well known in Gospel circles. However, his named hit global notoriety when he became embroiled in an abuse scandal in 2011.
Indeed, as widely reported, several male accusers came forward alleging improper sexual conduct by Long, with many of them asserting that he groomed them as early as their teens.
The story exploded when, instead of fighting the allegations, he made a number of sizeable pay outs.
He would rarely speak on the matter, but did tell his congregation that he was going through a “battle” and that “the enemy will not win.”
Long is survived by his wife of 27-years Vanessa, who filed for divorce at the time of the scandal (only to withdraw). She said in a statement:
“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 loved him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he’s at peace.”
He is also survived by his adult children Eric, Edward, Jared and Taylor, and three grandchildren.