A propped up and apparently frailer version of controversial megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long was paraded before his congregation Sunday as they defiantly sang “I Got the Victory” days after his church denied last Thursday that he was in a hospice.
The appearance comes after rumors surfaced last week that Long, who leads New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, was getting care at a hospice.
Long’s assistant, Elder April McLaughlin, told The Christian Post last Thursday that her boss was simply resting and refused to say whether his rest was associated with the undisclosed “health challenge” he admitted he was facing in September.
“No, not ever in hospice! Currently, not accepting calls but thanks for verifying the rumor,” McLaughlin told CP, reiterating that Long was “doing well.”
On Sunday, in a 48-second clip, however, Long’s condition appears to have deteriorated. With his arm locked into the arm of one of his male singers for support, Long made his way onstage clapping. The singer then releases him and he claps independently in the video with the vigor of a much older person.
In August, the once portly megachurch preacher who was accused by multiple young men of coercing them into sexual relations, sparked a national conversation when he posted a video to YouTube where he looked emaciated and almost unrecognizable. He claimed at the time that his new look was due to a new vegan diet.
“This is Bishop Long, you say ‘Bishop! What happened to all of you?’ Well, all of me is melting away,” the 63-year-old Long began in the video.
“I’ve been getting a lot of calls, people saying ‘Bishop, what’s going on?’ Well, I said to my congregation, I’m gonna live to be 100-years-old, maybe have a few more years. But you know what? I wasn’t gonna get there stopping by Popeye’s you know. That was my weakness, the biscuits with the honey and chicken wings, spicy and all of that,” he continued.
SOURCE: The Christian Post – Leonardo Blair