The LONG Saga – David vs. Goliath?

"I feel like David against Goliath.” – Bishop Eddie Long


SERIOUSLY? Let’s take a closer look at “the Bishop”. First and foremost, Eddie Long is a SUPERSTAR to 25,000 adoring followers at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, located in an Atlanta suburb. His boasts such a lavish lifestyle that his was one of six ministries (in the entire nation!!!) investigated by Senator Charles Grassley’s committee (see the first link in yesterday’s post). According to a recent New York Times article, Long is LIVING LARGE. Check out this description of his extravagant lifestyle. 


“Bishop Long cuts a flashy figure in Lithonia, the Atlanta suburb where he lives and had built his church. He is often seen in a Bentley attended by bodyguards. He tends to wear clothes that show off his muscular physique. He favors Gucci sunglasses, gold necklaces, diamond bracelets and Rolex watches. He lives in a 5,000 square-foot house with five bedrooms, which he bought for $1.1 million in 2005.


His lavish display of wealth is in keeping with his theology. In his sermons, he often tells his congregation that God wants them to be wealthy and asserts that Jesus was not a poor man. By all accounts, he has been well compensated for his leadership in building New Birth from a church with a few hundred members into the largest congregation in Georgia. His televised sermons reach 170 countries.


In 2005, for instance, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published tax records showing that from 1997 to 2000 Bishop Long had accepted $3 million in salary, housing, a car and other perks from a charity he controlled.


“We’re not just a church, we’re an international corporation,” he told the newspaper in justifying his compensation. “We’re not just a bumbling bunch of preachers who can’t talk and all we’re doing is baptizing babies. I deal with the White House. I deal with Tony Blair. I deal with presidents around this world. I pastor a multimillion-dollar congregation.”


Now let’s be honest, does Eddie Long appear to be a “David” or a “Gucci Goliath”?

Perhaps Long’s congregation gets some satisfaction out of their Bishop’s lavish lifestyle. It would be interesting to know the median income of New Birth attendees. If Long’s annual income and fringe benefits total $1,000,000, then the average church member is contributing a meager $40 per year to suppport him. Not a bad deal, I suppose, to support their own king…. Long’s income is probably paltry compared to his Atlanta rival – Creflo Dollar. Gotta keep up with the Dollars (OOPS – Joneses).

What do we know about Eddie Long? The NYT article gives us a brief explanation.

Bishop Long was born in Charlotte, N.C., where his father, Floyd Long, was a Baptist minister and owned a service station. In interviews and his books, he has described his father as a drinker and emotionally distant.


“To be candid, I’ve been working to remove the tentacles of 40 years’ worth of pain and complications that came my way against my will during the first 12 years of my life, and my father was a preacher, he wrote in his 2002 self-help book, “What a Man Wants, What a Woman Needs.”

He studied business at North Carolina Central University (a historically black college in Durham, NC), then went to work as a sales representative for the Ford Motor Company, but was fired over inaccuracies in his expense accounts. He moved to Atlanta to study theology and became the pastor of a small church in Jonesboro, Ga.


In 1987 when he took over New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, it had only 300 members and a small building. He adopted a modern image, using slang and dressing like a hip-hop mogul. He borrowed ideas from evangelical and charismatic churches and expanded his reach through cable TV.


He also adopted what has become known as “muscular Christianity,” a male-dominated view that emphasizes a warriorlike man who serves as the spiritual authority and protector in a family. His books on relationships suggest that men get in touch with their inner “wild man” and channel their fighting instincts into taking responsibility for their lives. Women are to submit to their husbands, he says.

Bishop Long has been married twice and has four children.”

Now let’s turn our attention to the young men who have accused Eddie Long of using his spiritual authority and lofty position to lure and coerce them into having sex with him.

According to the referenced NYT article:


“B.J. Bernstein, a lawyer for the four young men who claim to have been coerced into sexual affairs with Bishop Long, said the pastor exerted a paternalistic and, at times, autocratic influence over young men.

The four complaints filed in court describe how Bishop Long arranged for the church to provide cars to the young men and put them on the church payroll. Two of them also said they received free lodging in church-owned houses, where, they said, Bishop Long visited them for sessions of kissing, oral sex or masturbation. He also took them on trips to other cities and abroad, sharing rooms with them, with the knowledge of several church officials, the complaints say.


“There are biblical and spiritual passages that were given to them to make them comfortable and make them believe that they were not gay,” Ms. Bernstein said. In a letter to the radio station, Bishop Long called the accusations false. “We continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges,” he said.

Out of respect for the young men involved, TWW has decided to withhold their names because they were teenagers when the alleged events occurred; however, we admire their courage in consenting to make their identities public.

Last Saturday DON LEMON, a news anchor at CNN (based in Atlanta), interviewed three young members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church who staunchly defend the Bishop. At the 5:07 mark, Lemon made a surprise confession to not only them but to a watching world by stating:

"I have never admitted this on television. I am a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me… I didn’t tell my mom that until I was 30 years old," the 44-year-old newsman added.

After the interview, he expressed appreciation for the support he received from his Twitter followers, stating:

I had no idea I’d say that on national TV. It just came out. Sadly, it’s the truth for so many young men.

We encourage you to watch this informative 7-1/2 minute interview, which can be accessed here

During the interview, New Birth member Gabrielle A. Richards made the following statement:

“When I look at different pedophiles as you said, I don’t see the Bishop as one. If you look at the various things that he’s done for the community and for young people in general, none of it boils down to him looking like a pedophile.”


Dee and I are passionate about exposing pedophiles, especially those in the pastorate. Shortly after we began The Wartburg Watch, we became concerned that many Christians don’t know much about pedophilia. In an effort to educate ourselves as well as our readers, we researched pedophilia and posted the following articles. We hope they will be of benefit to you.


A Public Service Announcement: What is Pedophila?



Profile of a Pedophile


While Eddie Young is accused of coercing these young men beyond the age of consent (16) in the state of Georgia, we would not be surprised to discover that he had been grooming them, as the above links explain. As a mother I am sickened by this terrible mess, and my heart goes out to everyone involved. My fervent prayer is that God’s truth will be revealed.

There is so much more to share regarding this “Long” saga. Stay tuned…


 Lydia's Corner: Read through the Bible in one year. Verses are linked to Bible Gateway for   convenience


Genesis 3:1-4:26    Matthew 2:13-3:6    Psalm 2:1-12   Proverbs 1:7-9  (Tuesday)

Genesis 5:1-7:2 Matthew 3:7-4:1 Psalm 3:1-8 Proverbs 1:10-19 (Wednesday) 


The LONG Saga – David vs. Goliath? — 34 Comments

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    Georgia is full of these types. They are not a part of the G B C, but they are part of Ga politics.

    Add Long to this already disgusting bunch called the Georgia Baptist Convention and well, Georgia is in a mess.

    No wonder the guy from GA had a Blogging Resolution proposed- He was letting them have it and telling the truths about their ” Empire State “

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    As my dectective policeman friend told me, pedophiles love churches. It is perfect for them. No one suspects because they are in church. People are naturally nice to children there so the pedophile does not stand out in that regard. And if they are ever caught the church usually forgives easily enough and wants to sweep it under the rug because of image. The pedophile just moves on to another church.

    Personally, I find the church building one of the least safest places for kids. One reason is because of the attitude of the pew sitters. They almost always take up for the accused and want solid proof. Where are you going to get that except for what the 6 year old says? I once had a long time SS friend tell me that we should welcome pedophiles into the church because Jesus loves them, too. I told her we can visit them in prison and minister to them there.

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    For more reasons than one, I say “AMEN” and “AMEN”. I have heard of many, many situations in which the pedophile gets the compassion and attention from the church and the kids are overlooked, told it was their fault, or told they weren’t being “forgiving.” One family I know was even told that there story wasn’t believed because their story seemed a bit confused. And this after the guy confessed and was in jail!

    Churches I know have all sorts of programs for sex offenders and won’t do squat for the victims. The story of Noel at SGM is a classic and shows how the pastoral staff goes to bat for the offender and is upset when the victims won’t play ball and say all is forgiven. Whoops, I’m ranting… maybe I am taking this all too personally, hmmm?

    I believe these offenders have no place in church where there are potential victims unless they are escorted every, last minute, even in the bathroom.I actually think that some churches who seem to care about these folks should start a satellite center for the offenders from which children and teens would be not allowed on the property. The re-offense rate is astronomical and some of these churches are naive. You know, Jesus heals. They do not ask the question of what happens when He doesn’t.

    Take deep breath and stop rant, now……

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    Some would call you “bitter” (and have called you this as a matter of fact), but you’re ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!

    Let’s keep fighting the good fight for Jesus Christ.


    Excellent comment! I may incorporate some of your comments in Thursday’s post if it’s O.K.

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    Rock on. After listening to the attorney’s statement of his approach, I have absolutely no doubt this guy did what they’re accusing. It’s the same technique that Don Crossland, the ex-pastor of Highland Baptist Church, in Waco, TX used on many college-aged boys in the mid-1980’s. Finally, one of the boys allowed his counselor to finally reveal what had been going on. Can you imagine the counselor knowing, but not telling, what was going on before that? Anyway, Crossland finally admitted it before the congregation and got the boot. But, no one ever pressed charges or sued the creep.

    It’s truly astounding how naive these three kids are. No wonder they are so easily led astray. But, their youthfulness prevents them from being able to make an adequate stand against these wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    My son spent the night at a friend’s house the other night. I gave my nine year old son the talk about not ever allowing an adult to get him alone. I told him to always be in a group with the other boys. If an adult tried to take him aside alone, he was to refuse and continue to refuse. If they insisted, he was to ask the adult to let him call us. If they would not and tried to do anything to him he was not comfortable with, he was to refuse and start screaming if they persisted.

    These young men, and all young men, need to know that they should never be alone with someone who has a perceived authority over them. It is extremely unwise. Gosh, are we going to have to put church-going parents through the same training that boy scout volunteers are now required to go through?

    They ought to sue this guy until he doesn’t have two pennies to rub together and he should never stand in a pulpit again. Someone ought to tell these naive kids that leading people to the Lord doesn’t give you a license to manipulate kids into having sex with you.

    Okay, my rant is over, but I’m still fuming mad.

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    Amen. I would say more but I am on my way to jury duty.

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    As sickening, disturbing, and saddening as the accusations are, it’s hard not to connect them with Long’s view of himself as a CEO of an international corporation. Why, oh why, do churches think that sort of talk is acceptable?

    I’m always encouraged when I find people speaking out against it, as below:

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    Here is one of the guys speaking about the issue from a Reporter here in Atlanta.

    Look and listen to the guy “challenge” Eddie Long at the end of the Interview to say it to his face.

    My heart breaks for this man…I now definitely believe him!

    Also see this how men and churches hire P R firms to get beyond the turmoil.

    And be sure to catch what she says about how she tells them to ” Don’t Do Anything or say anything” –

    Yes P R Firms , many of our stories have LEGS….and you better prepare all those within the Baptist Mafia and beyond who are your clients, we intend on growing more “LEGS” in order for TRUTHS to be heard as we continue to EXPOSE those deceitful and powerful TARES within the ministry!

    Doug Pittman

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    Heartbreaking. Pray for this guy’s healing.

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    Hey Doug;

    Looks like a P R Firm is the business to be in now. With all these issues and Pastors who are of the World, they are going to be one busy industry group.

    This is the quote from the man who challenged Eddie Long on TC

    “But that man can not look me in my eye and tell me we did not live this pain,” Parris said. “Why you can sit in front of the church and tell them that you categorically deny it. You can’t say that to our face. And you know this. You are not a man, you are a monster.”

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    How’s jury duty going? Has your name been called yet? If you are chosen, there no doubt in my mind that you would be chosen by the other jurors to be the foreman. And you’d do an outstanding job!

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    Thanks for the links! So glad you’re down there in Georgia monitoring the situation and keeping us informed. I’m talking to Dee by phone (who is on a short break during jury duty) as I’m writing this comment, and she said your predictions are COMING TRUE!!!

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    Ok…this kind of attitude of man followers just burns me up!!!!!

    and I quote…..

    “Pastor Jasper Williams Jr. who heads up Salem Baptist Church is calling for a national day of prayer Tuesday for Bishop Eddie Long.

    “My reaction is to pray for the church. As believers we see in this a satanic attack on the church no matter what happens,” Williams said.

    Where is the “NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER” FOR THE SEXUALLY ABUSED By these Empire directors and deceivers ?

    aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh’ mmmmm gonna scream!

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    Couldn’t agree more… What about the victims? Does anyone care about them?

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    Does anyone remember the days they would resign in shame for being caught? Even those days are over. Now it is pretend it did not happen, get good PR and continue to act as if it is no big deal. Get your supporters to be louder than the opponets. Ever heard: That is old news. .

    This is exactly what Bill Clinton did and many are taking a page from his playbook. Clinton was impeached and it has not hurt him one bit if you look at the overall picture.

    Caner is doing it, too.

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    It’s funny you bring up Clinton. My wife was making the point this morning how the liar, Clinton, is so well-loved, while the guy who was instrumental in bringing out the truth, Starr, was so hated.

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    Oh my, one would have thought Starr was satan! It was unconsciable what they did to Starr. Remember Carville? I remember thinking how blind people were that Clinton’s only defense was to scourge Starr but people could not see it.

    Now we are seeing this same tactic in our churches with it’s worldly leaders. The church really is like the world. Even the conservative evangelical ones.

    (There are liberals out there who are freaking out about Starr at Baylor)

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    I’m at Baylor and have been impressed with Judge Starr. I don’t see Clinton and Starr in black and white with Clinton=bad and Starr=good or vice-versa. Starr the special prosecutor is certainly not above criticism on that front.

    As to liberals freaking out: who said the people “freaking out” were liberals? You don’t know that. Those who spoke out against the hiring of Ken Starr did so largely because A)He was not Baptist and B) Starr is often perceived (rightly or wrongly) as a divisive figure in American history. Given Baylor’s recent past, those critics felt Starr wasn’t a good fit to bring unity.

    Those criticisms have been muted as Starr’s tenure thus far has challenged those perceptions. He was not a Baptist when he came to Baylor but so far has demonstrated a commitment to the Baptist heritage and has said and done all the right things, promoting civil discourse and dialogue, shared governance, etc.

    Back on subject:

    I found a fascinating chapter on Eddie Long in a book titled The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism by Jonathan Walton (who has been quoted several times in the CNN Religion columns about Long). I was able to read most of the chapter via Google Books.

    Long really is a great example of what absolute authoritarian leadership looks like especially in the megachurch world of charismatic/pentecostal Christianity. I read where Long described himself as merely a “hired preacher” who only become a “pastor” once the Deacon board “relinquished control” of New Birth to him.

    Long is right when he says New Birth is a corporation. But it’s a corporation that lacks any level of oversight from its shareholders. If Long isn’t willing to step down, I don’t see any mechanism that could force him to step down. And of course many people at that church will be reluctant to leave because they are employed by one of the church’s ministries or has a close friend whose income comes from New Birth, etc.

    The website Talk2Action has a series of interesting columns up about Eddie Long. This one kinda rambles at times but offers several interesting facts about Long having “apostolic authority” over a network of a couple hundred presumably nondenom, independent churches across the country, many of which in Georgia.

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    Welcome to TWW. Love your blog and often see you commenting out and about the b sphere. I am a bit busy but will reply to you a bit later. Love the link. Trying to figure out what my blog is doing with it.

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    You are right, churches are using the same tactics. The conversation I’ve been having the last couple of days has been identifying idolatry in the church.

    People in the church look to the pastor, not for his love and leadership, but for his great speaking ability. They lift him up like he’s a rock star and it makes them feel good about themselves that they are identified with a church that has such a great speaker. Then they say to others, come to our church because our pastor is a better speaker than yours. (Obviously they don’t say that, but they ARE saying that).

    Consequently, they would not dare to bring accountability to the pastor regarding his sin, because to do so, they would have to bring him down off the pedestal a bit, leaving themselves feeling a little worse, since they have chosen to identify with him so closely. So they vigorously defend any hint of wrong-doing the pastor might be accused of.

    Take note here; there are MANY, like Anonymous, who criticize others for drawing very logical conclusions, without obvious evidence, about the guilt of a, “pastor,” like Long. However, those same church members and church leaders will fervently defend their idol, their pastor, without even looking at clear evidence presented to them that would prove his guilt. They won’t even consider evidence sitting right under their noses that might conflict with their already established belief that their pastor can do no wrong.

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    Been there before; trying to avoid being there again

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    Thank you so much for your fascinating insight into the tenure of Ken Starr at Baylor. It was gratifying to hear that the concerns expressed,prior to his tenure, appear to have been overcome by Starr’s performance. I must admit that I know little about the politics at Baylor and need to rectify that by doing some reading about its recent history. Any suggestions?

    I think you have hit the nail on the head regarding the issue of absolute authoritarian leadership. I know you were responding to Long’s issues but it is my perception that hyper-authoritarianism is the basis for many of the issues in today’s churches.

    What is it about power that corrupts one’s soul? It even corrupts those whose intentions are good. Thoughts?

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    I quoted you on today’s post. Thanks for the info.

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    BDW, Are you affiliated with the CBF? Just curious.

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    For those of us who know know all the initials can we expand on these items?

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    Are you referring to BDW? I haven’t heard back from him but he did send on his picture.

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    CBF is C____ Baptist Fellowship…the folks that broke off from the SBC back during the conservative resurgance. (I can’t remember the C)

    Their members boast Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Grisham and Jimmy Carter; all who have spoken at their conventions.

    They are the left wing Baptists, The SBC is the right wing

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    The C is for Cooperative. Funny that you didn’t remember that — could it be because cooperation is no longer something we automatically associate with Baptists? Even the Cooperative Program has been downplayed by the Great Commission Resurgence.

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    “The C is for Cooperative. Funny that you didn’t remember that — could it be because cooperation is no longer something we automatically associate with Baptists? Even the Cooperative Program has been downplayed by the Great Commission Resurgence.”

    I think you are right~! I had a mental block for some reason and did not want to take the time to look it up. I just am not sure the CP is relavent for a global economy, anyway. It has become a big bureaucracy and a high level jobs program for the old boy network. Knowing what I know about the big players, I do not even trust the Lottie Moon money anymore.

    The joke here is about Ezell. Everyone knows Highview gave very little to the CP yet he is the new President of NAMB. He does not even believe in real church planting!

    The SBC has become a joke. An illusion.

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    That is a funny comment. I can see that Lydia agrees. i will be talking a bit about this on Tuesday when I review the article in Christianity Today about Mohler.

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    Nicht aufgeben, ihr kiregt das schon hin, es kann nur besser werden

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    To all

    Here is what google translator says: Do not give up her kiregt the way already, it can only get better.

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    Again, thank you. This is what google translates what you say: Do not give up her kiregt the way already, it can only get better. Are you saying that we should not give up on the church? If so, I agree with you. That is why we write this blog. We want to see changes in the churches that we love so much.