Bishop Long's 'anointed' path to power at New Birth
September 29th, 2010
12:26 PM ET

Bishop Long's 'anointed' path to power at New Birth

Jonathan Walton was walking through Bishop Eddie Long's church one day when he saw something that disturbed him.

He stared at a 30-foot banner draped behind the pulpit of New Birth Missionary Baptist. Church. It displayed a profile of a grinning Long with the caption: "What is God up to?"

"Everywhere you went in that church, his name and face was there," says Walton, an assistant professor of religion at Harvard Divinity School in Massachusetts. "His image has replaced the cross."

Long's image is now under assault. Four young men have filed civil lawsuits accusing him of abusing his spiritual authority to coerce them into sexual relationships, allegations he has denied in a statement issued by his attorney.

While most people focus on the men's allegations, few have paid attention to how Long acquired and maintains his authority at New Birth, which has an estimated 25,000 members.

Read the full story

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Ethics • Homosexuality • Sex abuse

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