Several people in Houston have alleged that Bishop Eddie Long, the former pastor of First Baptist Church in Houston, was abusive to his second wife, Vanessa Long. This article discusses these allegations and the response of Bishop Bryant.
Earlier this year, four young men from the Atlanta megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long’s congregation accused him of sexually abusing them. Several of these men claimed that Long offered them cash and cars and offered them trips to exotic locations. In addition, Long held several “homosexual cure” conferences and hosted a number of “Sexual Restoration” events.
Bishop Long is believed to be the top African American preacher in the country. His church has more than 25,000 members. He was a member of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, a group of black Baptist churches that embraced Pentecostal practices.
The charismatic bishop took over the New Birth church with 300 members in 1987. He later became pastor of a small church in Jonesboro, Georgia. However, he stepped down temporarily due to family issues.
The pastor’s second marriage ended in a divorce. He married Vanessa Long in 1990. They had three children together.
Long’s first marriage ended in allegations of domestic violence. He also said he was physically abusive toward his first wife.
Bishop Eddie Long’s second wife
During a recent divorce proceeding, Bishop Eddie Long’s second wife, Dabara S. Houston, filed papers alleging that Long had abused her when she was pregnant. Houston claimed that Long had a violent temper that had locked her in a house of terror. In addition, Houston claimed that Long had physically abused her when she was seven and a half months pregnant.
The former pastor of a Georgia megachurch has been accused by four teenage boys of sexual improprieties. According to court documents, Long had sexual relationships with the boys. He also coerced them into sexual relationships, according to the lawsuits.
In the court filing, Long denied the allegations. He also claimed that he had only mentored the men who filed the civil lawsuits against him. He said the accusations were offensive and unfounded. Long claimed that he knew of the abuse, but that he was not responsible for it.
Houston is the mother of the bishop’s oldest son. She has lived in Statesville, N.C., since Long’s divorce. Houston was awarded custody of the boy in 1985. She and Long lived together for two years after filing the divorce.
Claims that Bishop Long abused her
During his time as a pastor, Eddie Long enticed young men into sexual relationships by offering them trips to exotic locations, gifts and cash. He also encouraged them to call him ‘daddy’ as a sign of respect.
After the first two men came forward, Long’s church members began to cover up the allegations. But now four young men have come forward to accuse Long of sexually abusing them. Among them is Spencer LeGrande, who was just 18 years old when he had a relationship with Long. He claims Long forced sex on him. LeGrande is a member of the New Birth church in Charlotte, N.C.
The third man, Anthony Flagg, is in his 20s. He was approached by Long in his early teens. He claims he was offered cash, cars, and trips to exotic locations. He has not spoken publicly since the lawsuits were filed.
The fourth man, Maurice Robinson, is in his 20s. He claims he was offered cash and cars by Long. He also says he was abused while staying at Long’s house. Long and Robinson traveled together to Auckland, New Zealand, in 2008.
Long has denied any abuse of the accusers. He also has denied committing any crime. He has also denied being cancer-ridden.
Bryant’s response to Bishop Long’s death
Until the end of December, Jamal Bryant was the senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The Atlanta megachurch had more than 25,000 members at its peak. But after sex scandals in 2010, church attendance was down to about a thousand.
Bryant was chosen to take over as pastor of the church after 138 candidates were considered. His family had served as AME missionaries in Africa. His father had preached revivals at the church.
Bryant’s Baltimore church has a membership of more than 10,000 people. He has plans to make the church a more recognizable brand, as well as to increase offerings. He also wants to use the church’s real estate more efficiently. He plans to pay off the church’s debt in 10 years.
Bryant is the third generation of preachers at the church. He is the son of Pastor Floyd M. Long Jr., who founded the church. He is also a graduate of Morehouse College.