Lawsuits accuse Bishop Eddie Long of sexual coercion; Long “adamantly denies”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Two DeKalb County men filed lawsuits Tuesday alleging Bishop Eddie Long, leader of one of the Southeast’s largest churches, coerced them into having sex with him in exchange for lavish trips, cars and cash.
Renee Hannans/Special Bishop Eddie Long addresses students of Southwest Dekalb High School in 1997.
Long is the nationally known minister of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, with more than 25,000 members.
The pastor’s attorney, Craig Gillen, adamantly denied the allegations.
“It is unfortunate that these two young men have chosen to take this course of action.”
The plaintiffs, Anthony Flagg, 21, and Maurice Robinson, 20, began having inappropriate relations with Long at the age of 16, which is the legal age of consent in Georgia, said their attorney B.J. Bernstein.
The men are seeking a trial by jury and unspecified damages.
“It’s not just these two. There are young men around him at all times,” said attorney B.J. Bernstein said. “There are kids at risk now.”
Bernstein said she has not contacted DeKalb law enforcement because of Long’s ties to DeKalb officials.
Gillen noted Robinson was arrested in June 2010 in connection with a burglary at the church. Robinson and Anthony Boyd, 19, of Decatur, were arrested June 23 and charged with stealing items such as an iPad and an iPhone, according to a police report obtained by the AJC.
Robinson committed the burglary in retaliation after learning that Long was involved with other men, including Flagg, Bernstein said.
“He lashed out,” Bernstein said. “But if it weren’t for that act, we wouldn’t know about this. He talked to his friends and learned Long had other ‘spiritual sons.’”
July 27, 2010
God seems to have a progression when it comes to Judgement. First there is minimal disclosure so that a person can repent. What I mean is that God protects His people from public embarrassment by only exposing these people to, usually, a few discreet people who can go to them, warn them and possibly restore them. Folks, most of the people that many of you love and adore in Gospel Music or in Preaching ministry – are foul. Some of them I know personally and others I know of who have been involved in sin so depraved that it would make some of you vomit. Yet, why hasn’t God publicly exposed or judged them yet? Because He is merciful and full of Grace. There are some very great people – that God had me personally go to and warn – some listened (Glory to God!) but most of them didn’t.
The next stage is exposure to all spiritual Christians. Years ago I would tell my wife there was something wrong with T. D. Jakes and the turns he was making. Hardly anybody recognized it back then – I know several people that have warned him – G. Craige being one. But he didn’t listen. Now it seems almost anybody who is spiritual is picking up on what Jakes is doing. Now the last stage of judgment if a person doesn’t repent during the first two stages is public humiliation -everybody knows your sin. God strips you of everything and He judges you openly. Folks I have seen this happen over, and over.
August 5, 2010
…Almost always, by the time you see a pastor on the news or he loses his church you can be certain – that this was probably not his first, second, or third time – but he was a repeat offender who ignored clear warnings from God, and wouldn’t repent. The difference between the leaders that salvage their ministries and those that lose them seems to be in this: One Pastor is so remorseful that He exposes himself to his wife and close circle; but the other Pastor keeps doing it until he is caught. By the time most leaders lose their ministry they have been warned several of times – but they wouldn’t repent. I will say this prophetically there are some very Big Black TV Pastors that will be exposed for sexual sins in the near future.