Monday, January 16, 2017

Prosperity Gospel Pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, Dies

As reported by CNN and AP, controversial Atlanta area mega-church pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, died Sunday morning of cancer at age 63. At its height, his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church where he preached a "prosperity gospel" had 25,000 members.  CNN summarizes his career:
Long was a national figure and one of the most innovative and polarizing pastors in the contemporary church. He was also a paradox.
He was a preacher who led an infamous march against same-sex marriage and denounced homosexuality, but he also settled a lawsuit by four young men who said he pressured them into sexual relationships....
He was a man who gave away cars and paid the college tuition of needy people, but he also was investigated by Congress after a charity he created had provided him with a million-dollar home and a Bentley luxury car.
"When he spoke, black people all over the country listened to him," said Shayne Lee, a sociologist who studies the black Pentecostal church. "He was part of the repackaging of Christianity for post-civil rights African-Americans."