Earlier this year, I reported that Bishop Eddie Long’s wife Vanessa had left him. Bishop Long denied this and issued a statement.
Well, his First Lady of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church issued hers on Friday, December 2nd and said:
After a great deal of deliberation and prayer, I have decided to terminate my marriage to Bishop Eddie L. Long. It is my sincere hope that this matter can be resolved expeditiously, harmoniously, and fairly. I ask that you respect my privacy and that of my family, as my attorneys and I have agreed that we will not try this case in the media, and I do not intend to make any further statements concerning this matter.
Why are we not shocked? It’s been a long year! Bishop Long will you step down now?
Sources are telling me that the chaos we talked about earlier has worn down the New Birth community. His executive board of elders has all but abandoned him. Resignations have been steady since the legal fallout began. The most public exit being Reverend Bernice King, daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Video footage of the New Birth parking lot shows that it is less than half full. One source says, “Those 5 Rocks, he says he (Long) has won’t help him to fight off Vanessa … This right here will bring him down, and maybe bring him to a place to repent. If not, LOOK OUT FOR ” A TELL ALL BOOK” by her. Seriously.”
UPDATE #1: Now comes word that she has retracted her papers:
The wife of Bishop Eddie Long, the famed DeKalb County mega-church preacher accused of sexual involvement with young men, has backtracked on an announcement to divorce her husband.
UPDATE #2: At noon Friday (December 2nd) afternoon, Vanessa Long issued the following statement:
Upon prayerful reflection, I have reconsidered and plan to withdraw my petition for divorce from my husband, Bishop Eddie L. Long. I love my husband. I believe in him and admire his strength, and courage.
My filing followed years of attacks in the media that frustrated and overwhelmed me. I love my family and church family, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Therefore, my husband and I have mutually agreed to find healing from these attacks. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time.
UPDATE #3: The divorce is technically back on according to this video spotted at 1-800Gospel.com. Apparently, Vanessa Long has not formally withdrawn her petition for divorce. Will she change her mind again over the weekend?
UPDATE#4: Sources have told me that the church members are concerned and are actively waiting for services tomorrow to see if any of this will be addressed. There is even belief that Vanessa was pressured into rescinding yesterday. Meanwhile, Vanessa’s lawyers have issued the following statement:
Consistent with her original statement made this morning, Mrs. Long continues to hope that this matter may be resolved expeditiously, harmoniously and fairly; however, she has determined that dismissal of her divorce petition is not appropriate at this time.
To avoid any undue confusion, Mrs. Long’s future statements, if any, will be issued through her attorneys only. At this time, neither she nor we will have any further comment on this matter.
UPDATE#5: There are now reports that Vanessa’s statement about her husband was actually released from New Birth without Vanessa’s permission. Henceforth, the lawyers being very clear that the only statements to trust are those that come directly from them. Anyone who attends Sunday service come back and tell us what is going on.
UPDATE # 6 In her divorce filing she would like the following:
- payment of her lawyers fees
The grounds for divorce are that the marriage is irretrievably broken, with no hope of reconciliation.
In addition Bishop Eddie Long has announced he’s taking time off to focus on his family after his wife filed for divorce. Long’s spokesman, Art Franklin, said that the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church leader told his congregation Sunday that he will continue to serve as senior pastor at the church in Lithonia, an Atlanta suburb. But Long said he needs a sabbatical.
Eddie Long’s exact words:
In front of thousands of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church congregants, Long announced that he will take time off in order to focus on his family.
“I’m still your pastor. You’ll still receive my direction,” Long said with his wife, Vanessa, and two of their children standing by his side, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “You’ve given me some weeks to take care of some family business.”
As with everything in this story, this gets stranger and stranger. We will keep you posted!
We will see.
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