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Tentative trial date set for sexual coercion suits against pastor
November 23rd, 2010
11:06 AM ET

Tentative trial date set for sexual coercion suits against pastor

The prominent Georgia pastor being sued for sexual coercion by four men will face his accusers in court next summer if the cases cannot be settled through mediation before then.

Attorneys representing Bishop Eddie Long and the men suing him met with a judge in a DeKalb County courtroom Friday for a status conference hearing, said Wendy Guarisco, spokeswoman for attorney B.J. Bernstein, who represents the plaintiffs.

During the hearing, the judge set a tentative trial date of July 11, but both parties have agreed to meet for mediation, which is expected to be held in February, according to CNN affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta.

In September, the men filed separate lawsuits against Long and his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Courts • Georgia • Pastors • United States

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Satan

    This dude is clearly a bone smuggler. He'll be visiting me soon.

    November 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  2. james manuel

    @mr.bonner, AMEN ! THANKS FOR THE CLARITY

    November 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  3. 1love

    mr.bonner,thank you for speaking the TRUTH.

    November 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  4. Gary Bonner

    OK...let me predict what's getting ready to happen.

    1. Long will settle this case by pretending that "the body of Christ" needs to "heal" and move on and not have his "work" distracted by these "allegations" hanging over it. Based on that explaination the church will cover most of the cost of the settlement.

    2. Long will continue to pastor his 25,000 member church because they frankly don't care that their Bishop is a hypocrite who likes young men. As long as he can convince them every Sunday that God is on their side and that God has something "special" for them, and the music is good and as long as the pretense of prosperity still abounds they will follow his lead. This is sad, but it is true.

    As an African-American pastor this whole episode brings me to tears. In the Black community we struggle daily with the FACT that 72% of Black children are born out of wed-lock. 28% of Black adult men under 40 are unemployed. We struggle with high rates of incarceration, high crime and murder rates in our communities, the list goes on. Our community members need a deep and abiding relationship with the Living God now more than at any other time in our history. Yet, the most popular chuches in the Black community these days are ones like New Birth where people go to hear the pastor tell them that all they need to do is "speak it" and "sow a seed" into his church and everything will be just fine for them – they will "prosper." This is Spiritual mal-practice!

    We need to wake up and begin to come to know the God who loves us so much that he calls on fathers to parent their children; come to know the God who loves us so much that He equips couples with the tools to stay married. Teach the people about the God who calls on the strong to bear the infirmities of the weak, who calls on men to get legitimate jobs and shun the gangsta life-style; the God of Love who delivers the addicted and demands that we behave responsibly. The God of values and integrity. It breaks my heart that this TRUE God seems no longer to be in fashion. Instead too many of my brothers and sisters throng the stages at the feet of the Eddie Longs of the world in search of a god who is NOT. Pray for us all.

    November 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
    • pockets

      Thank you Sir, thank you. More men like you are needed to clean out the temples of worship from the ilk of Eddie Long, any intelligent person can see what has gone on. Come on people wake up and see what he has done to these innocent young men. Be responsible and walk out and walk on, walk on to a decent church to worship in. You deserve cleanliness and better. For your information I am an atheist. But I do respect your reason to worship at some altar if you need to. I do not believe in any god.

      November 24, 2010 at 1:19 am |
    • really!!!!

      I agree, they will follow, I told all my Facebook users friends if you continue to support this madness after it is to be true, you might want to delete me, cause I am gonna tear a whole in you all everytime I log on to FB, u aint gona like me ( no disrespect to them) but will I called them Stupid, YES, YOU big DUMMY, and evertime they say something about Jesus Christ, I am gonna go behind them and Say: Satan Heist.

      November 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • Vickie Henderson-Simmons

      Mr. Bonner,
      Out of all the comments about Eddie Long at the beginning of the scandal to present, this is the MOST AWESOME ONE!!!!! I, too, agree with everything you said. I can identify with everything that you mentioned; regarding our community daily struggles. However, I decided to do something positive to hel myself as well as our community. I once was a member of Eddie Long's church. He helped me and my daughter when we first moved to Atlanta. However, I thanked him, but I praised God for allowing him to help us. Moreover, I was a 9th grade drop out in 1990. Presently, I am a RN, and I'm presently going to Pharmacy School. I trust God then and I will continue to put all my trust in him!!!

      Once again, thank you Mr. Bonner

      Kind Regards,
      Vickie Henderson-Simmons

      December 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  5. JACKIE

    Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

    Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

    Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

    Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

    Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    November 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @JACKIE

      Say wut...? 😯

      Peace...

      November 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
    • pearl

      Amen! Enough said. Thank you.

      December 2, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  6. dave

    "The men suing him" agreed to mediation which is another fancy way of saying "Payday is coming for us, boys!"

    November 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  7. Karen

    If you church members still believe this man,remember it's not the point of Bishop being gay, He denied the it, one can clearly see he's lying. That's the problem. I have gay people in my family and love them dearly. I have a difinition for you all to read.
    The word cult pejoratively refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are considered strange.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Karen

      Umm...how can you clearly see Bishop Long is lying? From pictures of him?

      November 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Karen

      You Said:-– "one can clearly see he's lying."

      Hey, Karen, I'm not necessarily a fan of this guy by any means, and he very well may be lying, but, I gotta' ask.... How specifically do know *for sure* that he's lying...? Please point us all in the direction of something where we can 'clearly' and undeniably 'see' he's lying.

      You Said:-–"I have a difinition for you all to read.
      The word cult pejoratively refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are considered strange."

      Well, that is an 'extremely' broad definition. I think that would certainly, in my opinion, cover pretty much any of the 'monotheistic' religions, and several others. Hey you could even cover the State of California with that definition. 🙂

      Anyways... Peace to you...

      November 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
    • terrance

      not to judge but he should know the scrutiny he would be under by being gay and a clergy.

      November 23, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
    • really!!!!

      when he said i am not perfect, I am going to fight this, Well I fight things to like traffic tickets, that i am guilty of, and everything else....But I cant knock him, he is an ordinary man like the men on this post, no he is not a man of the cloth.. so please stop reffering to him.as one...

      November 24, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Karen

      I believe all religious beliefs and practices to be strange, therefore all religions are cults. THERE ARE NO GODS – NOT EVEN JUST ONE – NO SATAN EITHER!!

      November 25, 2010 at 5:16 am |
  8. mohammy

    first!

    November 23, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • mohammy

      put him in jail!

      November 23, 2010 at 11:10 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.