Controversial mega church pastor Eddie Long has passed away from cancer. according to multple reports.
The minster was 63 years old.
At the time of his death, Long was one the more successful preachers in American history, his congregation is among the biggest in the country, which afforded him unusual political power in his home state of Georgia.
Long’s death comes on Martin Luther King weekend, and whilethere is many that will attempt to weave the two together, but that would not be accurate,
The two men could not be more different.
Despite his tremendous gains as a religous leader, Eddie Long died with some skeletons in his closet.
Long, along with others, was investigated by a senatorial committe 2007 for irregularities regarding his salary, and how donations to the church were actually be appropriated after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that during the period between 1997 and 2000, Long received more than $3.07 million worth of compensation and benefits from his eponymous non-profit charity,
Then of course, was the sexual assault scandal that threatned to ruin his business, and destroy his entire organization.
From USA Today
On September 21 and 22, 2010, Maurice Robinson, Anthony Flagg, and Jamal Parris filed separate lawsuits in DeKalb County Superior Court alleging that Long used his pastoral influence to coerce them into a sexual relationship with him.
On September 24, Spencer LeGrande, a member of a New Birth satellite church in Charlotte, North Carolina, filed a similar suit, making him the fourth man to file a lawsuit claiming sexual misconduct by Long.
The plaintiffs state that Long placed the men on the church’s payroll, bought them cars and other gifts, and took them separately on trips to destinations such as Kenya, South Africa, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad, Honduras, New Zealand, and New York City.
The lawsuits stated that Long would “discuss the Holy Scripture to justify and support the sexual activity. Flagg’s suit claims that Long presided over a “covenant” ceremony between the two of them; Flagg’s attorney said that the ceremony was “essentially a marriage ceremony, with candles, exchange of jewelry, and biblical quotes.
Long was also accused of being a massive homophobe, his hatred towards the LBGQT community is all over his teachings, and published material.
Long presented himself as a man of God who encouraged his followers to believe in the teachings of Christ.
“Love” was a big part of his message, and it reasonated.
As his star grew, and his popularity soared, the departed preacher lost his way to some degree.
Unfortunately, Long will be more remembered for scandal then the unquestioned good that he did do for his community.