Bishop Eddie Long, the man behind one of the biggest churches in the country, died over the weekend following a short battle with cancer. Long was 63.
“Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he’s at peace,” Eddie’s wife, Vanessa Long, said in a statement.
And while many celebrated the life of the late Bishop, others shared blasphemous comments and dragged the name of the North Carolina native through the mud.
Long might’ve pastored millions of church members at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, but he’s also known for not only leading a march against homosexuality and same sex marriage, but for accusations that he pressured young men into having sexual relations.
Although eventually settling a lawsuit against the horrific claims by accusers, Long’s damaging reputation stuck with people until the day he died. Literally.
Following news of Long’s death, hundreds shared their condolences via social media; others, however, did not filter their thoughts about the late preacher.
Some of Long’s accusers, who filed the lawsuit in 2010, also spoke out. “We’ve been hearing from people from all walks of life — the media, celebrities, gospel singers — wanting to hear what we think,” accuser Spencer LeGrande said in a statement.
“As much as we’d like to make a statement about the passing of Bishop Eddie Long, we’ve all decided to remain silent, for now,” he added. “Our perspectives will be addressed in our book, Foursaken, which we hope to release soon.”
Long’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 25, at New Birth.