New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s Bishop Eddie L. Long Dead at 63

Eddie Long deadMegachurch leader Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has died at the age of 63.

The Lithonia, GA church leader lost his battle with “an aggressive form of cancer” on Sunday January 15, after months of questions surrounding the reason behind his declining health . The church confirmed Long’s passing via a statement released on New Birth’s website:

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.”

When photos of Long looking thinner first surfaced in late 2016, the pastor chalked his new physique up to eating clean and following a raw food diet, but when photos surfaced again after the 1st of the year showing a nearly unrecognizable Long, many worried that there was more going on with him than he initially let on.

Long held the position of Senior Pastor of New Birth since 1987 and was a highly respected figure in the black Christian community. The leader was also the center of a media firestorm when a group of young men came out in 2010, accusing Long of sexually assaulting after using gifts, trips, jobs and special treatment to coerce them. Long eventually ended up settling with the accusers out of court.

Photo Credit: New Birth/Instagram