Will Bishop Long attend religious rally at the Dome?

Bishop Eddie Long, facing a string of legal problems, may not speak at The Stand Campaign, a popular religious rally that draws tens of thousands and is set for Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

Or maybe he will.

Cory "CoCo Brother" Condrey, a radio show host and organizer of the event, said he recently talked with Long for about an hour by phone. He said Long told him that "if I'm going to be a distraction and stop people from coming into the kingdom of God, it might be best if I'm not there."

Condrey said Long was scheduled to be a speaker on Saturday, but as of Tuesday he wasn't sure if he will speak or attend without speaking.

Art Franklin, a spokesman for Long, said in a statement that the bishop has "supported Stand from its inception and is looking forward to being in attendance for the Stand Campaign at the Georgia Dome this coming weekend."

Condrey said he organized The Stand in 2007 and the first rally was held at New Birth Missionary Baptist, Long's DeKalb County megachurch.

Condrey said he told radio listeners about his uncertainty over Long's appearance and got many phone calls and emails  from people who want him there. "I told [Long], ‘What if the people want you there, would you still come?" he said. "He said, ‘Maybe I will reconsider.'"

"He's not totally pulled out," Condrey said. "There's so much going on and he doesn't want to be a distraction."

Long is being sued  by four young men who allege he coerced them into sexual relationships using lavish trips, gifts and jobs.

He still has much support from his congregation. Recently a South Carolina minister held a rally at the State Capitol demanding that Long step down, but Long's spokesman said he has "absolutely no plans" of doing so. He added, however, that "during the upcoming holiday season Bishop Long is planning to take some time to rest. He and his family will spend this time to refresh themselves. Although he will rest from time to time over a period of a few weeks, Bishop Long will remain engaged with the church, the staff, the board and the members of New Birth. Bishop Long is not stepping down nor stepping aside."

Last Sunday, a guest minister delivered the sermon, but Long attended and participated in the service.Long said God wanted him to rest and be refreshed, and that from time to time the congregations would see him sitting so he could hear "what God is saying so I don't miss anything."

The Stand is expected to draw between 30,000 and 40,000 people in Atlanta. Speakers scheduled to attend include Pastor Jamal Bryant, Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr. and the Rev. Jentezen Franklin. Gospel artists will include Donnie McClurkin, Vicki Yohe, Jason Upton, Byron Cage, and Israel Houghton.

If you go:

When: Saturday at the Georgia Dome. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.; worship hour is from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.;  main event is from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Cost: Free

Tickets: To download tickets and for more information for to www.thestandcampaign.com. Tickets are also available at the door.