New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has set Jan. 25 as the date for a service for Bishop Eddie L. Long, who died Sunday at age 63.
Elder Craig Heath said during an early morning international prayer call that services will be held at 11 a.m.
Heath read from a statement Sunday that Long ” 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,” the statement said.
Leaders on the prayer call, which opened and closed with music, at times seemed emotional as they talked about how Long had always “sowed seeds” in them and in others. Heath said the service would celebrate his life, sacrifice and service.
Long was absent at several services during recent months but was present during Christmas and New Year’s Eve services. His last sermon was during Watch Night Services to usher in the new year.
New Birth members were told of Long’s death on Sunday. Some sobbed and cried. Others prayed and leaned on those near them in support.
“Even though we don’t know the details right now, Bishop Long wouldn’t leave us in a lurch,” said longtime member Lela Brooks, a member for 29 years. “His legacy will live on. He did a lot of good and we won’t let that fade.”