Bishop Long thanks congregation for support during time of grief

Bishop Eddie Long, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, addressed his congregation at the 8 a.m service Sunday and thanked them for their support during the loss of his brother.

The Rev. James Long  of Florida died of cancer, according to Bishop Long. Long, 59, had battled the disease for several years.  The bishop said despite  this latest setback, he assumed his brother, "a wonderful child of God," would pull through. Services were held in Florida and North Carolina.

Long said he was "still adjusting" to his brother's death. It is unclear when he died.

The sermon was delivered by Bishop Neil C. Ellis of Mount Tabor Full Gospel Baptist Church in the Bahamas. Ellis spoke about the heavy blows that can "knock you down on the canvas of life." He said the bigger issue is not the challenge but how you respond.