Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, announced Monday that
the homegoing service for the late Bishop Eddie Long will be held on
Craig Heath said during an early morning international prayer call that
the service will begin at 11 a.m. and would celebrate Long’s life,
sacrifice and service, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
details on the service are still pending but church officials on the
prayer call, which opened and closed with music, said they were still in
the midst of working out their thoughts and feelings about the life and
legacy of their departed leader.
The announcement of the death of
the controversial preacher from an “aggressive cancer” at New Birth on
Sunday had hit congregants like a seismic jolt that sent them to the
ground and triggered open wailing.
“New Birth members fell down, cried, screamed when ministers announced death of Bishop Eddie Long,” Fox 5 reporter Marissa Mitchell, who was on location at the church, said Sunday.
Birth leaders and members also appeared to be in a lurch concerning the
church’s future but declared “faith is bigger than fear.”
Members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia.
revealed he was battling a “health challenge” last September amid
widespread speculation about his health stemming from rapid weight loss
in 2016. He had declared he was healed in October, however, after a
month-long sabbatical away from the church.
been on a journey and just recalibrating myself and like I said, I had
some health issues and God has healed me. The manifestation is coming
through and we stand in that,” Long told his then jubilant followers in a
video recording of his pastoral anniversary service held Oct. 9.
then appeared to parlay his pronouncement of healing into an inspiring
moment for others in his church who needed to be healed like him.
I woke up this morning, God expressed to me that there are some of you
who suffer in this congregation of chronic pain. You have to be
controlled by painkillers. If I’m speaking to you jump in the aisle.
There’s a healing balm in here,” the still gaunt preacher said in the
His church said on Sunday, however, that the healing was a spiritual one.
Birth Missionary Baptist Church celebrates the life and legacy of
Bishop Eddie L. Long who is now spiritually healed and home with the
Lord,” the church said in their announcement Sunday.
leaving the church appeared heartbroken and stunned over his death,
even though they were aware he had a big fight on his hands.
been watching him from when he was healthy to where the last couple of
days you could see he was battling something very strong,” one church member, who
said Long was used as a tool by God, told Fox 5. “Pastor was a really
good father. My life was in ruins when I just got here. [I had
depression] and a lot of these things he helped me work through.”
Ministers at the church also warned the congregation: “Let’s not let people destroy the legacy of a great man.”
Another member added in a video interview: “People
who didn’t know and didn’t attend the church look at the positives that
came from the church. We can all find negatives if we look for them.
But look at the positives that came, and I think all the positives will
speak for his legacy.”
LaTavia Roberson, one of the original members of the R&B group Destiny’s Child, said Long cried and prayed with her many times.
It has been reported that Long’s remains are now with the Gregory B. Levett and Sons Funeral Home and he might be eulogized by Jakes. Calls made to Jakes’ ministry on Monday went unanswered.