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Sunday, January 15, 2017


New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s senior pastor Eddie L. Long has died, according to the church. He was 63 years old.  A statement released by the church this morning confirms Long died early Sunday morning after “a gallant private fight with an aggressive form of cancer.” 

"Today it is with great sadness I announce that our bishop has transitioned,” Bishop Christopher C. Smith said.

"He's no longer in pain,” Smith continues. "He's no longer dealing with the complications that he had to deal with."

The statement adds Long maintained his commitment to God as he proclaimed that cancer would not kill his faith nor his spirit. 

Long was absent at several services during recent months but was present during Christmas and New Year’s Eve services.

Long delivered his final message to New Birth as the church ushered in 2017. 

“He told the church that God was already working in our favor and what we have been praying for was already manifested,” the statement says.

Bishop Long was born May 12, 1953, in Huntersville, N.C., to the Rev. Floyd M. Long, Jr. and Hattie Long. Eddie Long attended North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C., where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1977.

He became pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist ten years later and reportedly grew the church from 300 to 25,000 members. 

As pastor of the high profile church, Long saw his personal and professional profile soar, and in 2008 he donated $1 million to North Carolina Central to establish a professorship in his name, saying, “I am making (the donation) from my own personal income,” which comes from various real estate ventures and also as royalties from his books. (Long authored seven books.)

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

The family appreciates support and respect of their privacy as they prepare along with New Birth for the homegoing service to honor Bishop Long. The date and other details will be announced in the near future.

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