A teary Bishop Eddie Long admitted during a recent service that he once considered taking his own life.
He told his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church congregation that when it seemed like he was getting “condemend from the four corners of the Earth, I had a moment…I had a moment…I wanted to kill myself and was ready,” he said in a video that is going viral.
Long doesn’t say what was going on at the time, but it appears to be a reference to allegations in 2010 that he coerced several young men into sexual relations. Four lawsuits resulted from those allegations. They were all subsequently dismissed “with prejudice” in 2011.
In the video, entitled “The Power of God’s Love,” Long, with a clean shaven head and dressed in a dark suit with a red shirt,, says that what prevented him from doing so, “It’s not a Scripture. What kept me is that every time I showed up here, you were here.”
Long could not be reached immediately for comment.
The congregation, many dressed in red, rush down to gather around Long. Some are crying, some can be seem praying or touching him in support.
A tearful and trembling Long said in the video that he did not take his life because “my family loved me, my church loved me…regardless of what anybody said, love lifted me and carried me. And you didn’t judge me. There are folk here who know what I mean, that you’re alive because somebody loved you. They didn’t give you a sermon, they didn’t question you, they didn’t call you before a council.”
He told the congregation “there is no greater power than the power of love.”
He said he honored them as a congregation and people that what sustains a person through the storm is the real committed love “that runs from heart to heart and breath to breath and I thank you.”
He said he wanted to release the love showered over him and his family.
“We have no right or justification to kill one another on social media, especially when you don’t know,” he said. “And if we’re going to be saints, if we’re really going to move into the things God has, let’s love one another. “