Congregants at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church welcomed Long with applause and cheers when he took the stage at the 8 a.m. service Sunday. Just two days prior, the lawsuits brought by four young men alleging Long of coercing them into sexual relationships were officially dismissed “with prejudice” Friday.
Lawyers for both sides have given no details on the settlement other than to confirm that the lawsuits have been resolved.
Long did not address the allegations or the settlement during his address Sunday but his congregation did sing a praise song on “moving forward.”
Bishop’s Long’s Sermon began as follows:
“Good morning New Birth. And good morning to all our other guests. And I would be remiss not to say good morning to the world. You all may be seated in the presence of the Lord. I do want to remind folk that we’re here at 8 every Sunday morning. Every Sunday morning. And I’ll be here next week.
First of all, let me thank you on behalf on my wife, my family, for all of your support, your prayers. We are certainly humbled by such a loving congregation. I realize that many have been waiting on me to say something. I have to do … (long applause)
My first responsibility is to my family. My next responsibility is not to address the world before I address my family, New Birth. Because I’m pastor, I want to talk to you for a moment, and make a statement and we’ll be gone. This is an extremely difficult time for me, an extremely difficult time for my family. It’s an extremely difficult time for you, because many who’ve called you and asked you questions and all of these kind of things. You ain’t never got this many phone calls in your life. It’s a time when you actually see the veil dropped and who’s with you and who’s not with you.”
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