Bishop Eddie Long death at the age of 63

In this Sept. 26, 2010 file photo, Bishop Eddie Long speaks at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church near Atlanta.

(AP Photo/John Amis)

Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia died early Sunday morning after battling an aggressive form of cancer, according to a statement from the church. He was 63 years old.

Long acknowledged that he was confronted with a “threat to public health” in September 2016, but he did not say what was wrong.

Bishop Eddie Eddie Long of #NewBirthChurch responds to the rumors that he is the batlting serious illness. @FOX5Atlanta

— Portia Burner (@PortiaFOX5) September 6, 2016

The senior pastor brought a YouTube video approach of his dramatic weight loss. In the video, he said that he was busy with the rebuilding of muscle after switching to a vegetarian diet.

The video, intended for supporters, went viral and ended up on Youtube, the popular leader of the church to insist that he would live to be 100 or older on his new vegan lifestyle.

During his last sermon on New Year’s Eve, Bishop Long told the church that God was already working in our favor and what we have prayed was manifested, ” the statement said.

Long is senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist since 1987. The church said it grew from 300 members to more than 25,000 Long under the leadership and became one of the nation’s largest municipalities.

Four young men filed lawsuits in 2010, accusing him of sexual misconduct, giving prominence to his church, which is located far outside her home in Lithonia, Georgia. The lawsuits were resolved in the following year.

Long is survived by his wife, Vanessa Long, four children, Eric, Edward, Jared and Taylor; and three grandchildren.

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