By Dr. Sinclair N. Grey III
When information was released that Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia died as a result of an aggressive form of cancer that had overtaken his body, many people throughout the world of Christendom were shocked and saddened. A prominent pastor, not only in the state of Georgia but globally, Long touched the lives of millions of people.
On Wednesday, January 25th, people come from all over the world to pay their final respects to a man who they regarded as their spiritual father.
Among those in attendance were Roy Barnes, the ex-governor of Georgia and NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. Sanders, who spoke on Long during the funeral said, “This man taught me how to face adversity, this man taught me how to stand in the midst of the storm, this man taught me so much of how to even be a man.”
Bishop Neil C. Ellis, of Nassau Bahamas, delivered the eulogy.
Bishop Long was known as a powerful preacher and leader. He began pastoring New Birth in 1987. At the time of his pastoral duties, the church had around 300 members. However, under Long’s leadership, the church grew to 25,000.
On the other side of the spectrum, Long was not without controversy. He was accused of having a s*xual relationship with four young men. Rather than admit guilt or innocence, a financial settlement was handed out. Long’s controversy didn’t stop many of his members from attending New Birth and defending him whenever possible.
The church said of the passing of their leader, “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.”
With the passing of Bishop Long, let’s keep his family and the members of New Birth in our prayers. In addition to that, let’s also keep the young men who came forth lifted up also. Healing is needed during this time.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, author, and success coach. Contact him on www.sinclairgrey.org or Twitter @drsinclairgrey