By Shelia M. Poole and Rhonda Cook
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Rev. Bernice King will announce on a radio show Tuesday that she is stepping down as an elder at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, an action apparently unrelated to Bishop Eddie Long’s recent settlement of four sexual misconduct lawsuits.
King intended to disclose her plans last Monday to radio host Rhodell Lewis on Praise 102.5, and on mypraiseatl.com between 4 and 5:30 p.m., according to an Effective Media Group news release.
King is leaving with the blessing of Long, pastor of the Lithonia Megachurch, and had been planning this move for a couple of years, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.
Attempts to reach King, Lewis and church officials on Monday were unsuccessful.
In his first public appearance since the settlement was reached, Long on Sunday made no mention of the sexual misconduct cases when he spoke from New Birth’s pulpit.
Before the matter was settled, Long repeatedly denied claims made by four men, Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson, that the bishop had used his influence, trips, gifts and jobs to coerce them into sexual relations.
LeGrande had said he and Long had intimate relations while on a trip to Kenya, when LeGrande was 17.
Robinson said he started spending time with Long when he was 15. Robinson also claimed that he and Long on a trip to New Zealand regularly “engaged in sexual touching and other sexual acts,” according to court filings