As reported by CNN.com, Bishop Eddie Long, the controversial leader of one of the nation’s largest megachurches, has died, according to the suburban Atlanta church he presided over. He was 63.
Long died after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer, according to a statement by the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
Long was a national figure and one of the most innovative and polarizing pastors in the contemporary church. He was also a paradox.
He was a preacher who led an infamous march against same-sex marriage and denounced homosexuality, but he also settled a lawsuit by four young men who said he pressured them into sexual relationships.
He was a man who wore tight muscle shirts and radiated self-confidence but used to throw up before sermons because he was so nervous.
He was a man who gave away cars and paid the college tuition of needy people, but he also was investigated by Congress after a charity he created had provided him with a million-dollar home and a Bentley luxury car.
“When he spoke, black people all over the country listened to him,” said Shayne Lee, a sociologist who studies the black Pentecostal church. “He was part of the repackaging of Christianity for post-civil rights African-Americans.”
Long’s wife, who stood by him through his rise and fall from national fame, released a statement.
“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,” Vanessa Long said.
Read full story: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/15/us/bishop-eddie-long-dead/index.html