Controversy continues to surround Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia— this time he has announced that he will take a leave of absence just days after his wife Vanessa filed for divorce. There was some confusion as to whether or not she really intended to file, as her attorneys first issued a statement that she would, then the church issued a statement that she’d changed her mind. The most recent statement from her attorneys says “(Mrs. Long) has determined that the dismissal of her divorce petition is not appropriate at this time.”
Bishop Long issued his own statement as reported by The Christian Post: “Vanessa…has always been a loving, dedicated and committed wife and mother. My love for her is deep and unwavering. It remains our sincere desire to continue working together in seeking God’s will in these circumstances.” The Washington Post, in its report, stated that no word has been issued on how long Bishop Long’s leave will be.
Long has been in the news frequently in the past year for a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing four young men in his congregation. The men were paid a large settlement, but Long later requested that three of the men return the settlement money because they allegedly broke the accompanying confidentiality agreement.