Image

4:50 PM / Thursday December 5, 2019

1 Oct 2010

The Bishop Long scandal: From Atlanta to Philadelphia

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
October 1, 2010 Category: Stateside Posted by:

By Daryl Gale

 

The only thing that seems certain in the ugly scandal surrounding Atlanta megachurch leader Bishop Eddie Long is that it will doubtless get uglier.

 

Bishop Long, pastor of the 25,000 member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has been accused by four young men of the grossest sort of sexual impropriety – using his position as pastor and mentor to manipulate and seduce the teens into sexual trysts.

 

Long is by no means the first pastor to be accused of sexual wrongdoing, and won’t be the last. It has become a far too common occurrence in modern society, but the circumstances surrounding this case have made it the subject of nationwide gossip and whispered speculation.

 

Those whispers have traveled the 650 miles from Atlanta to Philadelphia, where African American religious leaders have urged their congregants to pray for all involved, and caution against a rush to judgment.

 

Bishop Audrey Bronson, President of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, says the matter should be settled in a court of law, not the court of public opinion.

 

“Every week, we preach forgiveness for repentant sinners and redemption for those who acknowledge their sins,” Bronson says. “We should pray, not only for Bishop Long and his family, but for the young men who are his accusers. If he’s guilty of these things, those young men are in desperate need of guidance, counseling and God’s grace. If he is not, then these young men are certainly troubled, and still in need of grace and prayer.”

 

Bronson also says that ministers are prime targets for abuse allegations, given their close relationship to the members of their flock, and should be cautious not to put themselves in questionable or compromising situations. That sentiment was echoed by Reverend Terrence Griffith, popular and charismatic pastor of First African Baptist Church in South Philadelphia.

 

“Sadly, it may come to a point where ministers have to keep video records of their private dealings with parishioners,” says Griffith. “I hope not, but it may come to that.”

 

Griffith says he spoke to his congregation Sunday about the Long scandal, and he also cautioned his flock to reserve their judgment until all the facts are in.

 

Image

“The church does not, and should not, deal in rumors,” Griffith says. “At this point, we don’t know if the allegations are true or false. What we do know is that Bishop Long deserves due process, and his church deserves to know the truth. The question I asked myself, and we should all ask ourselves, is if we were in Bishop Long’s position, how would we want to be treated?” he asks. “I think we would want justice, and we would want to be treated fairly.”

 

Griffith says he’s happy Long addressed the matter in his Sunday sermon, but was a bit disappointed by Long’s tone.

 

“If I were him, I would have unequivocally denied the allegations and then asked the church to pray for the accusers,” he says. “I think he should have taken a more humble approach, rather than beat the drums of war with talk about David versus Goliath and having five rocks to throw. This should have been an opportunity to send a message of prayer, not retaliation.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Style

Making your own jewelry is easier than you think

November 29, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT  If you love jewelry, and you also love to tap into your...

Color Of Money

Tips for growing your small business this holiday season

November 29, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Small businesses have a major impact on their communities: 67 cents of...

Oasis

Spirit Bathing for the Worried and Beleaguered

November 29, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email By Patricia Adams Farmer We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,...

Sports

Eagles offense spoils outstanding performance by the defense

November 29, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Doug Pederson By Chris Murray  For the Philadelphia Sunday Sun There’s...

Commentary

Divine Muva Diva, week of Dec. 1

November 29, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email Dear Lovies: It pained Muva’s heart to get the following question: “What advice...

Horoscopes

SUNscopes for the week of Dec. 1

November 29, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email All Signs: I repeat: Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system....

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff