In 2010, Bishop Eddie Long was accused of coercing several of his church’s under ages boys into sexual relationships. The allegations made national headlines.
The accusations made in 2010 against Long by Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson alleged that the bishop used his influence, trips, gifts and jobs to coerce them into sexual relations. At the time, Long vowed to fight to clear his name.
Throughout the controversial process, Long continued to deny the allegations and eventually settled out of court in 2011.
In an interview that aired on the Steve Harvey Show, Steve asks why he settled the cases.
At some point, Long says, he had to decide “am I going to win the battle or do I need to win the war? I had to make the decision to save me, save my family and save the church.”
Long even stated in the interview with Harvey that he contemplated suicide.
“The shouts when you’re going through something, the shouts of your haters seem to be louder and are larger than those who are with you.”
In 2007, 1,958 African Americans completed suicide in the U.S. Of these, 1,606 (82%) were males (rate of 8.4 per 100,000). The suicide rate for females was 1.7 per 100,000.
As with all racial groups, African American females were more likely than males to attempt suicide and African American males were more likely to complete suicide.
A tearful Long said in the video that he did not take his life because “my family loved me, my church loved me … regardless of what anybody said, love lifted me and carried me.”
It was also stated that Long’s wife also filed for divorce during the allegations. She eventually withdrew the divorce and the two are working on their marriage now.
Bishop Long is still the senior pastor at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia and has written a new book, The Untold Story which details what the pastor went through and how he made it through.
When asked what would he change, the Bishop simply says, “Nothing. Going through what I did I know have a deeper understanding of the power of the God that I preach about. I am blessed.”
For those who may be considering suicide, here’s help:
You can call this number 24/7/365: 1-800-273-8255
Or you can click here for more resources