Despite reports to the contrary, Bishop Eddie Long’s New Birth Missionary Church has released a statement denying reports that his wife has moved out of their home.
“Recently, some blog entries have surfaced claiming to have anonymous sources stating that New Birth First Lady Elder Vanessa Long has moved out of the house. That claim is completely and absolutely false. Mrs. Long is very much a loving, dedicated and committed wife and mother,” the statement from spokesman Art Franklin read.
Reports of Vanessa’s exit spread shortly after it was announced that the embattled pastor decided to settle with his four accusers, as opposed to fighting their accusations of sexually inappropriate behavior in court.
Many continue to question whether Eddie’s failure to fight the accusations as David fought Goliath was an indication of his guilt.
The fact that longtime New Birth member and daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Rev. Bernice King, left the congregation after news of Eddie’s settlement spread, only fueled rumors.
The church released a statement that challenged the belief that Bernice was leaving because of the settlement, which some report was around $25 million.
“For some time now, Reverend King and I have been in discussion and prayer about the call of God on her life to continue the legacy of her father and mother. … This is a compelling mandate that places Reverend King squarely in the center of God’s Will of her life and I am in full support of her decision to leave New Birth in pursuit of this worthy endeavor,” the statement read.
While questions about Bernice’s motives remain, other clergymen, such as Creflo Dollar, and many of Eddie’s members continue to support him.
A video of one of Eddie’s members walking a wad of cash up to the pulpit and handing it to him during Sunday service surprised many critics who wonder if he is deserving of such loyalty.
Although New Birth’s latest announcement indicates that the church is focused on “God’s mission for the ministry,” the leaders are clearly still dealing with the aftermath of the scandal.
—Tracy L. Scott
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