The New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has received unwanted attention this week. Today, the church hosted its most talked about sermon; Bishop Eddie Long broke his silence. Since the Bishop Eddie Long scandal broke out, the Atlanta-based pastor has come under fire, as the latest priest accused of sexual molestation. With his anti-homosexual stance through the years, it has added another wave of criticism against the pastor. But today, for the first time, the Bishop Eddie Long scandal was addressed by Long himself at his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
Days ago, Long was scheduled to appear on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, right after his scandal got started. Four young men have filed lawsuits against the pastor, accusing him of sexual molestation. It appeared he would first refute the charges on Tom Joyner, but he instead decided to respond on his home turf.
The New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has been Bishop Eddie Long’s home for 23 years, as he turned it into a leading house of worship in Atlanta. Now it is the center of a media firestorm, as Long used this morning’s sermon to officially announce he would fight back.
Despite the condemnation from the media and many other circles, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church members appear to still be on his side. In spite of the Bishop Eddie Long scandal, his sermon was delivered to a “cheering crowd” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Long vowed that he wasn’t “the man that has been portrayed on television” and compared his struggle to that of David vs Goliath. But he claimed that he has “five rocks” to sling, and that the courts will be the only place where he can get justice.
The crowd at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church today was obviously larger than usual, as church members called it “unprecedented” The Bishop Eddie Long scandal may have tried the faith of some members in their leader, but others are more likely to stand by him.
Today’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church service officially began Long’s efforts to clear his name – or escape responsibility, depending on which conclusion one draws. However, it appears that the Bishop Eddie Long scandal will mostly be fought in the courts from here on in.
Long claimed that his legal team advised him to just fight in court – and given the numerous lawsuits against him, it stands to be a long and difficult fight ahead.
Los Angeles Times- “Georgia pastor will fight allegations of sexual abuse”
My Fox Atlanta- “Video: Bishop Eddie Long Speaks to New Birth Congregation”