Bishop Eddie Long Scandal: Four Lawsuit Filed (PICTURES)
Fourth Lawsuit Filed Against Eddie Long of Atlanta
On Friday, a lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct against Eddie Long, the senior pastor of the Georgia-based New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, was filed by Spencer LeGrande, a boy from a church affiliated with the pastor’s Longfellows Youth Academy. The lawsuit, which follows three other similar lawsuits filed earlier in the week, alleges that during a trip to Kenya, Long gave the youth a sleeping pill, and that the pastor and youth engaged in sexual acts.
Long has acquired a reputation as an outspoken critic of gay marriage and was a strong supporter of President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiatives. Long’s youth ministry, the Longfellows Youth Academy, provides an annual course in self-discipline for young males. The four-month curriculum, which costs $500, includes field trips, community service projects, and entrepreneurial training.
Since the lawsuits were filed last week, Long’s youth ministry, which numbers in the hundreds, has been buffeted by accusations that after young males were recruited into the Longfellows Youth Academy, Long used biblical scripture to justify sexual contact between persons of the same sex. In one case, a church employee rewarded one of Long’s accusers with a Chevy Malibu vehicle after the youth entered into a sexual relationship with the pastor in 2008.
On Sunday, Long is expected to publicly speak to his church congregation in Atlanta. However, it is unclear if he will address the allegations at that time.