Bishop Eddie Long dies after battle with agressive form of cancer, says church.

Bishop Eddie Long, of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, is dead

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church announced on Sunday Bishop Eddie L. Long is dead at 63.

The Lithonia church said 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.

Read full coverage of the death of Bishop Eddie Long on MyAJC.com

There had been much speculation about Long’s health after he posted a video last year of him looking extremely thin. He never publicly disclosed the nature of his illness.

He, 63, was absent at several services during recent months but was present during Christmas and New Year’s Eve services.

During those services he looked very frail.

The senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia has never disclosed the nature of his illness.

“I’ve been on a journey and just recalibrating myself,” Long said in an October video, which was posted on YouTube on by Miz Justice. “And like I said, I had some health issues and God has healed me. The manifestation is coming through and we stand in that.”

His Church: New Birth wielded influence with political leaders, both black and white

During a New Year’s Eve service last week, he told the congregation that God is already working in their favor. “What you been praying about is already manifested,” he said.

He mentioned several times that the devil wanted him to stay at home and not come to church that night.

The devil, he said, asked him “why you going to church? You need to rest. You’re in recovery. I said, let me tell you something. I said if I was going for my ego, I’d lay here. If I was going trying to prove something, I’d lay here. I said God ain’t through with me and sometimes you need to see the skinny Eddie and the big Eddie and all that. It ain’t got nothing to do with physical appearance, it’s what in your heart…You are a Scripture… I want to see you struggle I want to see you fight the devil and get victory.”

Long recently celebrated his 29th year as pastor of the DeKalb County megachurch.

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