Megachurch pastor caught in sex scandal
Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 23, 2010
ATLANTA (AP) — As a Christian author, gospel singer and leader of one of the nation’s best-known black megachurches, Bishop Eddie Long finds a wide audience for messages such as marriage is “between one man and one woman.” Those words hung heavy Wednesday over accusations that the TV preacher, a married father of four, used jewelry, cars and cash to lure three young men into sexual relationships.
Lawsuits filed Tuesday and Wednesday say the young men were 17 or 18 years old at the time, enrolled in New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s ministry for teen boys.
A lawyer for Long, who writes books on heterosexual relationships and has strong ties to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s family, adamantly denied the allegations. Few at Long’s 25,000-strong church will discuss the situation, and the grounds were quiet Wednesday save for a small group walking in prayer.
But those who will speak say they are supporting him.