September 27th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Televangelist Eddie Long: 'I'm going to fight' sex allegations

Ashley Fantz

Lithonia, Georgia (CNN) - Baptist televangelist Eddie Long said Sunday he will fight allegations that he coerced young male church members into having sex with him.

"I am not the man that has been portrayed on television," he told his congregation.

Speaking publicly about the accusations for the first time, Long did not address the specific allegations contained in four lawsuits filed against him earlier this week.

"I've been accused, I'm under attack," he said, lowering his head and softening his voice behind the pulpit at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta.

"I want you to know, as I said earlier, that I am not a perfect man. But this thing, I'm going to fight," he said. "I feel like David against Goliath, but I've got five rocks and I haven't thrown one yet."

With that, the 57-year-old pastor put down his microphone and walked off stage, receiving deafening applause from the thousands who had come to hear him.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I'm still trying to understand why people applauded Long when he never once said I DIDN'T DO THIS. In fact he went on to turn it back to his members by saying "I know you all have been getting a lot of phone calls" and they laughed. Not so funny to me especially when his "alleged" actions created this. I believe in the benefit of doubt but Long needs to enforce that for me.

    September 28, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  2. Ben

    The pastor's stance is suspicious. Since when does Goliath ever take the form of lovers coming forward and exposing themselves to this kind of scrutiny? Please give me an example of this ever happening! The allegations are that he used his position to gain relations. He hasn't denied the relations, only the "allegations," so what exactly is he fighting? The fact that his congregation does not demand the whole story is a sign of just the power he was capable of abusing.

    September 28, 2010 at 4:20 am |
  3. Justice

    Roland is right. He needs to step down. This is going to be a hinderance to bringing others to Christ for all preachers which is why I don't understand why no one is speaking out. I can't recall a time when ALL of them are silent on an issue. They don't get it I suppose, but I believe this will be a game changer. Long has not said he didn't do it. He only says I am not that man portrayed by the media. What does that mean? Also, there's a rumor going around the internet that a guy got up during the 11:00 service and yelled out "we want the truth man" and he was rushed out of the arena.

    September 27, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
  4. Sue

    I noticed in pastor Long's few words during the Sunday service, he never specifically came out and said, "I did not do what is being alleged." For me, the words he did say took on many different meanings to me. "I am not the person they portray me to be." Is he perhaps saying he had a twin? Or maybe that he did not coerce the young men. But, rather that they committed to him willing? At the time this happened, those young men were still trying to determine who they were as individuals.Come on, Pastor. Be honest, if not for those who wonder what is going on. Then for God. The one you profess to give your life to.

    September 27, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  5. Liz Carter of Georgia

    @Carolyn; I can sympathize with your feelings. However, I too am a CHRISTIAN. I was born and raised by CHRISTIAN parents. They taught me to 'study to show myself approved of GOD and man and 'to seek ye first the kingdom of GOD and all these things will be added unto you'. My parents taught me that 'every man is responsible for his OWN souls' salvation'. I was taught that 'unless my righteousness EXCEEDS the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees, I shall in no way enter into the kingdom of heaven'.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  6. Melody

    First of all I love God and the church. Now I will say this, where was Mrs.Eddie Long? I was married to a man who did the same thing. I began to see the gifts, trips and extra things he was doing with young men. As women we know when somethings up! The congregation see them from the stage. We live with people and KNOW when something not right. I blew the whistle, even when my church peers thought I was just being jealous. The Bible says...judgement begins with the house of the Lord.

    September 27, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
  7. Taylar

    I think that if bishop long is guilty then the whole black church will start to come out. I don't believe as a christian that being gay is holy. That is why in the beginning God created a man and......... a women. 😀

    September 27, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  8. Carolyn

    I don't know who to believe..but things like this give my belief system the wrong type of impression. My beliefs in Jesus Christ do not entail these types of actions. I am disgusted if this did happen because it gives other Christians who are truly doing good, a bad name. This is very unfortunate.

    September 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm |