After news of the death of Bishop Eddie Long was revealed Sunday morning (Jan. 15), Twitter was quick to respond to the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s controversial pastor’s passing.

Long, who became pastor of New Birth back in 1987 and grew the church’s membership to nearly 30,000 parishioners, first became the talk of social media after 2010 when four male church members accused the Bishop of sexual misconduct.

Because the men were of legal consenting age when they allegedly had sex with Long, no criminal charges were ever filed. The lawsuits against Long, who vehemently denied the accusations, were eventually settled in 2011 for an undisclosed amount, but his reputation suffered irreparable damage from then on.

Long largely remained out of the spotlight for years, but in August 2016, he appeared in a new video showing off a much “slimmer” physique. He attributed his new look to healthy eating and exercising, but many speculated that the Bishop had contracted a deadly illness and was wasting away. One report stated that he only had “months” to live.

The following month, in September 2016, as speculation about Long’s illness grew, he and New Birth were forced to release a statement in an attempt to quell the rumors.

“I am recovering from a health challenge that I trust God to deliver me from,” the statement read. “It is unrelated to the eating for life diet consisting of mostly raw vegetables that I am continuing, as part of a holistic approach to good health. At this time, my family and I are requesting that you respect our privacy. I truly appreciate your prayers and support for me, my loved ones and my beloved New Birth Church Family.”

A few months later, in December 2016, the discussion surrounding Eddie Long’s health was brought back up again after photos of him preaching a sermon showed him with a weak/frail-looking body.

Following the news of his death Sunday morning, the responses on Twitter were mixed, with some offering sympathy and expressing sadness, while others are unbothered or believe the Bishop basically “got what he deserved.”

See the Twitter reactions below:

According to New Birth, Bishop Eddie Long died from an “aggressive” form of cancer. Read the church’s full statement on Long’s passing below:


LITHONIA, GA – Sunday, January 15

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church celebrates the life and legacy of Bishop Eddie L. Long who is now spiritually healed and home with the Lord. Bishop Long, Senior Pastor of New Birth, transitioned from this life early Sunday morning after a gallant private fight with an aggressive form of cancer.

As a man of God with unyielding faith, Bishop Long maintained his commitment to our Heavenly Father as he proclaimed that cancer would not kill his faith nor his spirit. First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, Bishop Long’s wife of 27 years offered the following.

“I am confidant through my belief in God that my husband is now resting in a better place. 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.”

Deeply committed to his church, even in his last days, Bishop Long delivered his final message to New Birth as we ushered in 2017. He told the church that God was already working in our favor and what we have been praying for was already manifested.

In his departure, we receive that and as faithful members of New Birth, we praise God for the life of Bishop Long. Bishop Long was known as one of the most influential faith leaders in the world. He stood strong as a Kingdom Builder, pioneering leader, and revolutionary mind changer.

Long was a family man and spiritual leader who was well respected and loved for his passion to unapologetically and courageously preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Long inspired thousands of believers around the world through his global ministry that literally changed lives.

Through his earthly battle, Bishop Long believed that God was once again using him to help others see the power of the Holy Spirit through the love New Birth displayed to him and the countless prayers sent up by others from every corner of the earth.

Bishop Eddie L. Long was 63 years old. He is survived by his beautiful wife, First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, 4 children Eric, Edward, Jared and Taylor and 3 grandchildren.

The Long family thanks you for your prayers, condolences and messages of love. The family appreciates your support and respect of their privacy, as they prepare along with New Birth, for the homegoing service to honor Bishop Long. The date and other details will be announced in the near future.

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