Bishop Eddie Long dies at age 63

BY , CP OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

January 15, 2017 | 10:57 am

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s senior pastor Eddie L. Long has died, according to the church.

 He was 63 years old.

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

The expectant crowd, many already informed by social media and text messages, wails and shrieks at the official announcement.

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

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.”

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

First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, Bishop Long’s wife of 27 years said she is confidant through her belief in God that her husband is now resting in a better place.

“Although, his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he’s at peace,” she said.

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.

He is survived by his wife, First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, four children: Eric, Edward, Jared and Taylor; 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