Televangelist Eddie Long Taking Time Off


bishop eddie long 09262010Bishop Eddie Long, televangelist and senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, who was accused of sexual abuse in 2010, announced Sunday he is taking time off so he can spend more time with his family.

Long was accused of abusing multiple men in Atlanta last year, but still maintained a following of thousands of believers.

There had been rumors Long was going to resign completely but a spokesman from New Birth Missionary released a statement, calling those rumors false.

“Rumors that Bishop Eddie L. Long has stepped down as senior pastor of New Missionary Baptist Church are completely false,” the statement read.

The statement went on to say that long and his wife are “working together in seeking God’s will in our current circumstances.”

Long will continue to be the senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, the statement says, but is merely taking time off to spend with his family.

Long’s wife, Vanessa, had filed for divorce last Thursday after 21 years of marriage. But by Friday morning, she changed her mind about leaving her husband.

That night, she changed her mind again and decided to file for divorce officially, saying through a statement made by her lawyer that the “dismissal of her divorce petition is not appropriate at this time.”

In 2010 four men accused Long of coercing them to have sex with him by giving them gifts, allegations which Long has denied. The alleged victims and Long settled in civil court this year.