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Eddie Long, megachurch pastor embroiled in a scandal, dies

  • FILE – In a Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010 file photo, Bishop Eddie Long prepares to speak at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church near Atlanta. Long, a prominent pastor who led one of Atlanta’s largest churches, died on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church said in a statement to the local media. He was 63. (AP Photo/John Amis, Pool, File)

    (Associated Press)

  • FILE – In this Sept. 26, 2010 file photo, Bishop Eddie Long speaks at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church near Atlanta. Long, a prominent pastor who led one of Atlanta’s largest churches, died on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church said in a statement to the local media. He was 63. (AP Photo/John Amis, Pool, File)

    (Associated Press)

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LITHONIA, Ga. – Eddie Long, the pastor of the Georgia megachurch whose reputation is affected after a former congregants accused him of sexual misconduct, has died. He was 63.

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church said in a statement to various media outlets that Long died Sunday after battling cancer.

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.

He is survived by his wife, Vanessa Long, has four children and three grandchildren.

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