On Sunday, January 15, many received the news on the passing of megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long. He was 63-years-old.
Long died after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer, according to a statement by the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. 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.
“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.”
Long’s wife, who stood by him through his rise and fall from national fame, released a statement.
“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,” Vanessa Long said.