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Entries in Eddie Long (2)

Monday
Dec052011

Bishop Eddie Long Takes Leave from Church After Wife Files for Divorce

John Amis-Pool/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Eddie Long, the anti-gay preacher who was accused of sexually abusing four young men in his youth ministry, announced on Sunday that he is taking a leave from his Atlanta megachurch to spend time with his family.

“I’m still your pastor, you will receive my direction,” Long told the congregation at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

Vanessa Long, who has been married to the pastor for 21 years, filed divorce papers last Thursday, but withdrew them a few hours later.  But her change of heart was short-lived.  On Friday, Vanessa Long’s lawyers announced the divorce was back on.

“Mrs. Long continues to hope that this matter may be resolved expeditiously, harmoniously and fairly; however, she has determined that dismissal of her divorce petition is not appropriate at this time,” her attorney said in a statement.

Long’s accusers say he coerced them into sexual relations when they were teenagers.  The preacher settled with the accusers for an undisclosed amount last May.  Some suggest he spent nearly $2.5 million to end the lawsuit.

This summer, at his first public appearance since news of the allegations broke, Vanessa Long stood by her husband’s side.  The two have three children together, and Eddie Long also has a son named Edward from his previous marriage.

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, which has more than 25,000 members, has been rocked by the scandal involving their bishop.  It is trying to put a good face on the most recent developments, and on Sunday told its Twitter followers, “The enemy wants us to think it isn’t well.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec022011

Wife of Minister Eddie Long Files for Divorce, Then Withdraws

John Amis-Pool/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Late Thursday night, Vanessa Long confirmed long-standing rumors that she and her husband, megachurch Pastor Eddie Long, were on the brink of divorce. She filed divorce papers Thursday, and in an emailed statement wrote that “After a great deal of deliberation and prayer, I have decided to terminate my marriage to Bishop Eddie L. Long.” In the initial divorce filing, she said the marriage was “irretrievably broken” and had “no hope of reconciliation.”

Eddie Long was accused by four young men of coercing them into sexual relations when the they were teenagers. He settled with the accusers for an undisclosed amount last May. Some suggest he spent nearly $2.5 million settling the case. At his first public appearance after news of the allegations broke, Vanessa Long stood by his side. Her divorce filing was the first real sign that there was trouble in the Long marriage.

But Friday afternoon, Vanessa Long had an apparent, sudden and dramatic change of heart.

“Upon prayerful reflection, I have reconsidered and plan to withdraw my petition for divorce from my husband, Bishop Eddie L. Long,” she wrote. “I love my husband. I believe in him and admire his strength and courage. My filing followed years of attacks in the media that frustrated and overwhelmed me. I love my family and church family, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Therefore, my husband and I have mutually agreed to find healing from these attacks. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time.”

This is Eddie Long’s second marriage. He married Dabara Houston in 1981 and they were divorced four years later. According to court documents, there were allegations that he beat his then wife with his fists when she was more than seven months pregnant.

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, which has more than 25,000 members, has been rocked by the scandal involving their “bishop.” Elder Bernice King, daughter of slain civil right leader Martin Luther King, left the church this summer but denied she left because of the allegations surrounding Long having sex with young men in his youth ministry.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio