New Birth Missionary Baptist Pastor Eddie Long died in Atlanta on Sunday. He was 63.
Long, who attended North Carolina Central University, where he studied Business Administration and graduated in 1977, passed away from an “aggressive form of cancer,” according to a New Birth statement confirming his death.
“New Birth Missionary Baptist Church celebrates the life and legacy of Bishop Eddie L. Long who is now spiritually healed and home with the Lord,” the statement read. “Bishop Long, Senior Pastor of New Birth, transitioned from this life early Sunday morning after a gallant private fight with an aggressive form of cancer. As a man of God with unyielding faith, Bishop Long maintained his commitment to our Heavenly Father as he proclaimed that cancer would not kill his faith nor his spirit.”
“I am confident through my belief in God that my husband is now resting in a better place,” First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, Bishop Long’s wife of 27 years offered. “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.”
Long took over as the senior pastor of the Georgia megachurch in 1987 and served in that position until his death in 2017.
Long had been fielding concerns about his health in recent years. The pastor once stated that he was recovering from a health challenge and he had hoped to get better soon.
Tributes quickly poured in for Long from friends and church members:
Remember Bishop #EddieLong is survived by a wife, daughter, and son. Respect his family and not spew hate on his passing. WE ARE NOT GOD! 💯
— Dr. Sauce (@pro_handsomefit) January 15, 2017
My heart is heavy, but God is in control. See you in the rapture Bishop Eddie Long. It was my honor to serve New Birth for 12 years.
— Byron Cage (@RealByronCage) January 15, 2017
Bishop Eddie Long passed today at the age of 63. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and church members. https://t.co/jzAjUE8TDI
— BET (@BET) January 15, 2017
Wow what a huge lost for the Gospel community, Rest In Peace Bishop Eddie Long. Your now in the hands of The Almighty God. Jesus #EddieLong
— Kenny C. 26 (@Carroll26E) January 15, 2017
Eddie Long, megachurch pastor embroiled in scandal, dies at age 63. https://t.co/UR9fcFN5jn
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 15, 2017
Check out Long’s “Going Through The Door” below: