Bishop Eddie Long returned to New Birth Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday. Rumors continue to swirl around his health.
Long appeared as part of the celebration of his 29th year in ministry. It's been a tough few years for the Atlanta bishop. Earlier this year, he admitted he wanted to kill himself after the lawsuit by former members and the sex scandal. He said, "When I was being condemned from the four corners of the Earth, I had a moment where I wanted to kill myself and was ready."
Now, some say he's fighting a health battle for his life after photos emerged of the bishop looking gaunt. New Birth has remained largely silent on the health of its pastor, but Long did issue a statement some weeks ago in efforts to dispel the various rumors.
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"I am recovering from a health challenge that I trust God to deliver me from. It is unrelated to the eating for life diet consisting of mostly raw vegetables that I am continuing, as part of a holistic approach to good health," Long said. "At this time, my family and I are requesting that you respect our privacy. I truly appreciate your prayers and support for me, my loved ones and my beloved New Birth Church Family."
While new rumors are swirling that Long has stage 4 gastro-intestinal cancer and sought alternative treatment in Mexico, some of his followers see his Sunday appearance as evidence that God's healing power is working through him.
"GOD blesses us daily, but this morning he lit the Candles," Carla Tucker wrote on New Birth's Facebook page. "AWESOME time in HIS service, just like the Day of Pentecost! Thank GOD for healing and restoration, for Pastor Bishop Eddie L & our First Lady Elder Vanessa Long and the family."
Let's keep praying for Long and his family. The obnoxious rumors aren't helpful.
Though some insist he should share his struggles with the body so we can pray, some of the insisters are his detractors. This is not the time to throw stones or celebrate. This is the time to make intercession for Long's complete and total restoration to the glory of God.
Jennifer LeClaire is senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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