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Eddie Long, investor clash over church money
February 3rd, 2011
05:45 PM ET

Eddie Long, investor clash over church money

Bishop Eddie Long, the Atlanta pastor who has received massive media attention since four young men accused him of sexual coercion last September, is entangled in a dispute with an entrepreneur over $1 million in investments that Long wants returned to his church members.

The week-long dispute has included dueling press statements, an accusation of character assassination and a YouTube video in which Long pleaded with the entrepreneur to show compassion.

Long, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Church in suburban Atlanta,  said in the YouTube video that Ephren Taylor from City Capital Corporation held a “wonderful” financial seminar at his church last year that inspired some members  to invest about $1 million in retirement accounts through the corporation.

Long said those investments went “sour” and is asking Taylor and City Capital to return the money because some investors from his 25,000-member church are experiencing hardships.

“Please do what’s right,” Long said, addressing Taylor in the video posted on Sunday. “You’re a great fellow. You’re a great man. You do great things. Let’s settle this so these families can move on.”

Long, who declined to be interviewed, did not say in his video how the investment allegedly went sour.

He says that neither he nor New Birth received any "financial blessing or gift" from hosting Taylor’s seminar.

Efforts to reach City Capital, which has an Atlanta address, by phone over a two-day period were unsuccessful because the line remained constantly busy. Taylor, who said he left his position as CEO of City Capital last year, released a public statement on Tuesday.

Taylor called Long’s YouTube video misleading.

“Due to many inaccuracies, and based upon what I view as a direct character assassination and an attempt to paint a picture of an inability, on my part, to take responsibility for the actions of City Capital Corporation during my tenure as CEO, I am extending facts…” Taylor wrote in his statement.

Taylor declined an interview request.

Taylor said that he has been personally involved in resolving concerns from New Birth members. He said City Capital attorneys hosted a conference call with “all New Birth members involved” as recently as last month.

Taylor said City Capital’s legal team had also contacted New Birth members via telephone and e-mail based on a list provided by the church.

“Since last year, the legal team has been working with individuals to legally and privately resolve, refund and restructure any potential issues,” Taylor said.

Taylor also disputed Long’s claim that New Birth did not make any money from his seminar. He said the church “received a percentage of product sales” from his seminar.

Long released a statement Wednesday saying that he stood behind his video.

“New Birth and Bishop Long are not personally attacking Ephren Taylor, or his former company. New Birth and Bishop Long are merely supporting New Birth members…” Long's statement said.

Long reiterated that he did not receive any personal financial benefits from Taylor’s appearance at New Birth but said it is standard practice for New Birth’s bookstore to handle speakers and vendors who appear at the church.

“There are associated operational costs in having these events occur at New Birth, which as a matter of policy, are to be reimbursed by the applicable speaker or vendor,” Long's statement said.

Long has denied the sexual coercion claims against him and asked that the suits be dismissed. The men alleged in the suits that Long used his position as their spiritual counselor to pressure them into sexual relationships, and gave them gifts that included money and cars.

A judge set a tentative trial date for this July, but both parties have agreed to meet for mediation, which is expected to be held in mid-February.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Georgia • Pastors • United States

soundoff (362 Responses)
  1. Wharneraide

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    August 21, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  2. Kheri Hines

    Take a listen to a podcast I found that aired the week the Eddie Long scandal broke about the scandal. This is from internet radio show "Center Stage," on Blogtalkradio. The subject is "Preacher Under Attack or Just Being Exposed." This is a must hear podcast as this scandal was dissected much like a science experiment, and "no" stone was left unturned.
    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centerstage/2010/09/25/under-attack

    April 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  3. liza

    some of you people remind me of the movie the stepford wives..............
    Dang!!!!!

    March 4, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  4. liza

    Please forgive any misspelling in my last post. I am praying for all you people who refuse think you can't understand and fellow the bible for yourselves...........

    March 4, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  5. EMO

    A lady made a comment that the bible said U are to pay 10 persent. That's the same ignorance that caused thoese members to loose there money. It is a known fact when dealing with black folks, put the name God in front of them and u can lead Them straight to hell.For the lady who said tHe bible said pay 10 percent go do your research. The bible never said that. Study the levitical Preisthood. Good Night

    March 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  6. ephrentaylor1

    Ephren Taylor has seen the glitz, had the beauty, and expended through enough hurting to earn his stripes as an "Elite Entrepreneur." Actor has started or acquired over 100 businesses in his 16 twelvemonth business line that started when he was a 12 period old that fashioned a videogame because his parents couldn't give to buy him one.Ephren Taylor not scam if you want more detail please visit our site.

    February 15, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  7. marq

    ROFL the hustler got hustled, but i do feel bad for the congregation on both accounts for getting swindled twice since their 'leader" will still drive his beamer and wear his nice (well expensive) suits, and live in his mcmansion but they will be left out in the cold

    February 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  8. NateArt

    Here's the smoking gun...Taylor, the form CEO of Capital City stated, "New Birth received a percentage of product sales” from his seminar. If this is correct, this is a clear violation of SEC rules.... OH BOY!

    February 5, 2011 at 1:17 am |
  9. Kirk Noland

    This guy is no different then Benny Hinn or any other preacher who steals money from the poor and weak. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1KZymfQWKo

    February 4, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  10. Silvershado

    Regarding "Bishop" Long's alleged abuse of church youth: From the start he's claimed innocence and, in fact, alluded to being "drawn into a David-and-Goliath battle" casting himself as David. A foolish example as Long's a Goliath if there ever was one: Not only is he the most powerful presence in that church of thousands, he even looks the part. (The four, young 'nobodies' are David.)

    February 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Evergreen

      I agree.

      February 20, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  11. GianCarlo

    I'll make it simple: Religions = Greed

    It's all about the money and using God's name to make money. All Bush W. had to say was "Jesus was his most inspirational person" and he gets elected. That simple. Use Jesus in equation and "We have a winner" ding, ding, ding........

    February 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  12. Thatguy371

    A shady 'bishop' in a wacked out space suit, brings in a shady investment group for a seminar at his church. What could go wrong?

    February 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  13. Truth and Justice

    the trouble with people and religion is this.....they open their mouths. If you believe in something, well great. Good for you. Just don't tell me about it. Don't mention anything to me about what is going to happen after death.....cause you don't know.
    You don't know. YOU DON'T KNOW..!!!

    If you pretend that you do know, then you are disrespecting my intelligence. So please keep it to yourself.

    February 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      You know good and well that on the BELIEF BLOG, people talk about BELIEF. If it upsets you so, move on! This is America! You are free to move on!

      February 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Truth and Justice

      I can let my fingers do the talking.....some people have had near death experiences and do know of a life to come.....no disrespect on your intelligence.....I don't keep this information to myself......

      : )

      February 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Truth and Justice

      you may think it......you may believe it........but you sure don't know it.

      February 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Truth and Justice

      near death...?? ...thats not death.

      I've been near the edge of a cliff......and I can tell everyone that it looks like it's a long way down........but until I fall from that cliff........I really can't tell you just how far down it reallly is.

      Near death..........that is silly.......those people ain't seen $hlt.

      February 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Truth and Justice

      I believe it. I think about it. I know it.

      And if you 'think' about it....had I stayed 'dead' well, I guess that I couldn't be sitting here on this computer sharing this, now could I?

      God has His reasons for things. I for one, am glad that He is with me in Spirit.

      February 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Umm, you are here reading about it, so if you don't want to know about it, why bother reading it? No one cares if you believe in God, all man will stand before God and he alone will answer to Him.

      February 4, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  14. Steve the real one

    As the senior pastor, Long is responsible for who speaks at his church! The "leader" had to have known what was to be said and what was to be done in HIS church building. Otherwise, he did not do such a good job is protecting his flock!

    February 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  15. Wiki

    wikipedia says that presently, there are over 30,000 religions. If you believe in only one religion, that means you reject over 30,000 other religions and beliefs. That would almost make you an athiest.

    February 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Huh?

      There is only ONE true GOD. And you reach Him through FAITH, not religion. His name is Jehova, and He was manifest on this earth as Jesus Christ. Please get it right. There are many "religions" who entertain spirits, not GOD.

      February 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Wiki

      Ladies and Gents, we have our first non-believer.

      February 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  16. BlackRhino

    I have a prophetic message from God that he wants me to pass alone to ALL of you serving "pimps in the pulpits".....'Quit giving your money to the wolves in sheep's clothing, and start giving to the needy, quit funding your "pastor's" million dollar mansions, and give to a human in need'.

    February 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  17. K3J7S1

    On jugdement day we all have to answer for what we did in this lifetime.For those that dont believe,thats you choice.If you want respect for that choice you need to give it for mine.I believe in the "Invisible man in the sky".

    February 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  18. The Irony

    Whether or not the Bishop is guilty is not of my concern. God knows the truth, and that is enough for me. He will deall with Eddie accordingly in due time (if he's guilty)

    Now for the real reason I'm here:

    ATTENTION HEATHEN – Every blasphemous comment anyone has made on this board will return to you 7 fold. The "reaching out" to an army of ignorance is coming to an end rapidly. Most of you have made your choice, and it is not life. And even though I might as well be speaking in tongues because 80% of you wont hear me, I will say this anyway. You were all born into an illusion. Problem is, the "illusion" has become reality to you. You have probably come across at least one believer in your life who was sent to you in hopes to open your eyes, but their efforts were rejected. Therefore, God's grace was rejected. So He gave you eyes so you can't see, and ears so you can't hear. Those who are of the world you hear, but those who are of God you do not. Even as you read this message your heart and mind has already devised evil, and your useless human "logic" is thinking of a clever comeback. No matter how many "agree" with you on this board the truth will still remain the truth. Every syllable of God's prophetic word will come to pass, and you will simply pass through a furnace. What a waste. How can I not be blunt with you at this point in our age? You who believe in your hearts that you are a "good person" not having the slightest clue what it takes to become right with God. You can feed 4 million homeless people and build 100 orphanages and still, salvation will not be granted. The Bible is clear, and your vision is as fogged up as the windows on Eddie's bentley. But don't bother replying, I already know: Your not afraid. When death comes and goes sour for you it doesn't matter much. There probably isn't a place or state of hell, right? Satan is not on earth, he's just a figmant of those "religous folks" imaginations. Yea, you're absolutely right. Because hey, you have it all figured out. But understand this, every spirit filled believer on this earth has been given a clear message. You can decide to be part of the new creation, or stay in your "new routine." You live in a fallen world, the clock is ticking, and it ain't the "mayan calendar" genius. oNe

    February 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • SinisterMidget

      Must be hard to breathe with your head buried so deep in the sand..

      February 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Truth and Justice

      everybody is selling something......just cause you bought it............don't try selling it to me.

      February 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Truth and Justice

      As a Christian, I 'took' the Gift.... : )

      February 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      @ The Irony – AMEN!!!!!! BEST COMMENT I HAVE READ ON CNN. GLORY TO GOD!!! WELL SAID, MY BROTHER.

      GOD BLESS YOU AS YOU HAVE BLESSED ME WITH YOUR COMMENT!

      February 4, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @The Irony

      You seriously need the help of a mental health professional. There are no gods, not event just one, no satan either, nor pinks unicorns or fairies...

      February 5, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Irony

      So, what I get from your comment is; God is angry, but not at you. You have it all figured out, and anyone who doesn't believe as you do, is destined for fire. Sorry, but you are not the creator's favorite. You are not his spokesman, and quite frankly, you do a poor job of relaying any divine inspiration with your apparent disgust for his creation (the part that doesn't think as you).

      February 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Irony

      I get the impression that God is sad more than anything. Can you imagine the perspectives He gets? I wonder if the phrase, "Can't we all just get along?" just doesn't apply anymore. ??

      I believe that some folks have a clearer idea of what is going on better than others. Rember the wisdom of King Solomon provided by God Himself. (I pale by comparison.) Is it so difficult to understand that God can indeed shine a light on some, and not others?

      In a world that seems to be crumbling, would it not glorify The Creator to have voices that speak truth and make appeals to the lost? I don't have any problem with what "The Irony" wrote. It speaks of a truth that I can trace back to the Bible.

      February 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Irony

      ImLookinUp:

      I'm glad you were inspired by their comments. Being that you are a believer, that isn't surprising. But their comments were targeted to the non-believers (thus all the "I" and "you" instead of "we"). People are more often impressed by example than by "fire and brimstone" sermons. Isn't that the life of Christ? Be a light, not a hammer (at least that's my take).

      February 7, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ Irony

      .......Doesn't 'the light' reveal the hammer?

      February 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • IRONY AND CONTRADICTIONS

      U PEOPLE ARE REALLY SAYING U BELIEVE GOD IS NOT POWERFUL...U HONESTLY BELIEVE GOD GAVE FREE WILL "HOPING" PEOPLE WOULD FOLLOW HIM AND HE'S AN ARROGANT AND JEALOUS GOD THAT SUPPOSEDLY KNOWS ALL,AND IS UPSET BECAUSE PEOPLE AREN'T "WILLINGLY" BELIEVING THAT HE IS ALL POWERFUL...SO HE PUNISHES HIS LOVING CREATION FOR DOING WHAT HE ALREADY KNOWS THEY ARE GOING TO DO AND HE'S SITTING IN A ROOM CRYING AND HURTING HOPING THAT PEOPLE WILL FEAR HIM.AND NO MATTER HOW MUCH GOOD SOMEONE DOES, NO MATTER IF THEY ARE THE MOST GIVING AND LOVING PERSON, AND NEVER DOES ANYTHING WRONG, BUT THE SIMPLE FACT IS ,BECAUSE THIS PERSON DOESNT "FEAR" GOD THEN THEY WILL BURN IN HELL FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY...AND YOU KNOW ALL OF THIS BECAUSE THE "GOOD BOOK" THATS WRITTEN BY MAN SAYS SO...GOD WONT LET ANYONE ALTER IT BECAUSE HE IS ALL POWERFUL AND HE WOULDNT MISLEAD HIS PEOPLE...JUST LIKE HE WOULDNT MISLEAD HIS PEOPLE BY ALLOWING EDDIE LONGSTROKE TO LEAD AN INCREDIBLY LARGE CONGREGATION UNDER FALSE PRETENSES AND FONDLE WITH LITTLE BOYS LIKE THE POPE...LOL! OH YES! THE IRONY AND CONTRADICTIONS!:) BTW I BELIEVE IN GOD JUST NOT THE MAN MADE GOD U PEOPLE BELIEVE IN...

      February 8, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • ImLook'nUp

      @ I and C

      ....We are being 'farmed' silly! So much to know and learn! : )

      P.S. Anger leads to death. Don't be angry.

      February 8, 2011 at 7:48 am |
    • Irony

      LookinUp: Again, Irony's comments were obviously not directed at believers. If you feel their comments were inspirational for YOU, great! The intended audience however, might feel differently.

      February 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • trent1280

      I trust you are not a woman. As you know, the Good Book EXPRESSLY FORBIDS women to lecture men.

      "1 Timothy 2:11-12 - Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence."

      I also trust you observe all of The Lord's dietary laws. PLEASE REASSURE US that you do!

      "You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk." (Ex 23:19b)
      "You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk." (Ex 34:26b)
      "You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk." (Dt 14:21b)

      Thanks you, and PRAISE JESUS NOW AND FOREVER!!!!!

      And do not boil young goats!!!!! EVERY WORD of The Lord must be honored in its entirety. If you do not agree, your soul has been lost. Lost, forever. Lost, lost, lost.

      February 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • TNfolks

      This was an older post, but a great one. Well said "Irony" and stay blessed. Some hear 'anger', but I hear 'righteousess indignation.' The same vehemence a soldier has in carrying out the Commanders orders; the same zeal our Lord had against the money-changers in the temple; the same forcefulness David ran toward Goliath with and Joshua compelled the Children of Israel to enter into the Promised Land... Again, 'well said' and one day "Irony" will and we his Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, will hear: "Well done MY good and faithful servants, enter in MY rest!"

      March 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  19. dpk921

    Love the Star Trek outfit. I guess he probes Uranus and searches for Klingons

    February 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  20. Josh

    this is not news. why is there a link to it on the homepage of your website?? it's not news!

    February 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
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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.