In shocking news, Bishop Eddie Long — the leader of one the country’s largest mega churches — died early Sunday morning, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church confirmed.
The oft-controversial leader apparently died of an aggressive form of cancer, the church said in a statement.
“I am confident through my belief in God that my husband is now resting in a better place. Although, his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he’s at peace," said First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, his wife of 27 years.
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Long was 63 years old. He is survived by his wife, four children — Eric, Edward, Jared and Taylor — and three grandchildren.
Many speculated about the megachurch pastor's health after a video showed him looking thinner after periodic absences from the pulpit last August. He attributed his weight-loss at the time to changing his diet due to a health challenge.
He did attend some services during the Christmas period.
Congregants woke up to the shocking news in and around Atlanta, with many mourning his passing.
Our condolences go out to his family, friends and church.