A resolution honoring Bishop Eddie Long was approved Tuesday in the Georgia Senate, a day before Long’s expected memorial service at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia.
Senate Resolution 43, sponsored by state Sen. Tonya Anderson, D-Lithonia, calls Long “a person of magnanimous strengths with an unimpeachable reputation for integrity, intelligence, confidence, and kindness, and by the example he made of his life, he made this world a better place in which to live.”
Long became senior pastor of New Birth in 1987, overseeing explosive growth that saw the church go from 300 members to more than 25,000. The church under his leadership experienced both highs and lows. In 2006, Long officiated at the funeral for Coretta Scott King, wife of the late civil rights pioneer. Four years later, he was named in a lawsuit by former church members alleging inappropriate sexual relationships. The court case was dismissed and Long, who denied the allegations, settled out of court.
Long died Jan. 15, from what the church said was an aggressive form of cancer. He was 63.
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.