Bernice King, MLK's daughter, leaves Eddie Long's church
The Rev. Bernice King shares the pulpit with Bishop Eddie Long at New Birth Missionary Church in this file photo.
May 31st, 2011
06:30 PM ET

Bernice King, MLK's daughter, leaves Eddie Long's church

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - The Rev. Bernice King, daughter of the legendary civil rights leader, is leaving an Atlanta megachurch that’s been rocked by a sex scandal involving its preacher.

King’s announcement came a week after Bishop Eddie Long, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Church, settled out of court with four young men who filed lawsuits against him last year claiming he coerced them into sexual relationships.

King said her announcement had nothing to do with Long’s legal battles. She said Tuesday she was “tremendously blessed” by Long’s ministry but that now she’s going start her own.

“I’m going to launch a ministry. I’m not calling it a church right now,” King said during an interview with Atlanta radio station Praise 102.5. “What God is showing me doesn’t look like what people are accustomed to.”

King said her ministry would “educate, empower and equip” a new generation of church leaders, and she promised more details in the future. King had been an elder at New Birth for eight years.

During her interview, she said it was incorrect to say that she had “resigned” from New Birth because she was never on the church’s staff.

“I occasionally worked in the pulpit and preached, but that was the extent of it,” she said. "When I came to New Birth, I came for a season.”

King’s stay at New Birth was punctuated by controversy.

In 2004, she and Long led a march to the Atlanta tomb of her father, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., calling for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

The march was publicly condemned by some members of her father's inner circle. One of her father's closest advisers was gay, and his widow, Coretta Scott King, was a vocal supporter of gay rights.

Bernice King also was criticized for holding the 2006 funeral of her mother at New Birth instead of at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Atlanta institution once led by her father. Critics said Long’s embrace of the prosperity gospel contradicted the emphasis on social justice that her father preached.

The Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer, said Bernice King ultimately will be known for more than her association with Long.

“This might be for her a moment of spiritual renewal and serious reflection about what her next steps might be,” Warnock said. “Rev. King has been through a season of transition in many ways.”

The Rev. Gerald L. Durley, senior pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, said King won’t be tainted by her association with Long.

“New Birth was a bridge,” he said. “I’ve never seen anybody build a house on a bridge. A bridge takes her to another destination.”

During her radio interview, King said she had recently talked with Long about leaving his church.

“He gave me his blessings and supported me,” she said.

Whatever she chooses to do next, Durley said, King will bring many strengths: intelligence, humility and empathy forged by her own unique upbringing.

“She had to go through so much suffering at a young age,” Durley said. “She’s been in the spotlight. She’s expected not just to be Martin Luther King, but to pick up the mantle.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Celebrity • Christianity • Pastors

soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. Truth Teller

    Why do you censor oppinions Cant you pinheads handle the truth . Look I can't even spell. But I tell it like it is . The Bible criteria for the anti-christ happens to be the god man, pope. This man of sin fullfills every single prophecy and then some.

    Thanks for letting me share

    June 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  2. Ken Wood

    First there was Water-Gate, then there was Iran-Contra-Gate, then there was Wiener-Gate... now... wait for it... E. Long-Gate!

    June 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  3. LeeAnna

    Glad I only have 1 judge and that's Jesus. ALL sins are created equal. Let you WITHOUT sin cast the first stone. Maybe everyone should just pray for this man instead of continuing to tear him down. Guilty or not it's not anyones place to judge him. He is just a man and we have all fallen short.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  4. Kenrick Benjamin

    You are so right Adelina, but I was just making a reference to the Commandments.

    June 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  5. jrcnnjr

    She and him DESERVE each other. As a Christian myself, I would not attend either of their ministry services. Both of them seem to be Bigoted, Hypocritical, Ignorant Religious Zealots . . . and they lost the respect of MANY people years ago . . .

    June 3, 2011 at 6:14 am |
  6. Que

    So is she still a bigot, King that is... marching in anti-gay rallies? Falling far from the family tree, it seems she only likes to keep Ted Haggard type gays in her company. I cant imagine she could be worse than Alveda King though, what a nutjob that lady is.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Adelina

      @Que, Mr. Haggard repented. Don't put black(colored) people with s-e-x-ual perverts. Some of you white people are really weird. When will you stop bigotry against the colored people? We are not perverse like you are.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • jrcnnjr

      To Adelina: And when will you stop bigotry against Gay people? You seem to be JUST AS ignorant, weird, perverse, and bigoted as some White people who may be bigoted against YOU because of your color. It amazes me how one group of people will perpetuate injustices and bigotry against other groups, that they say have been perpetrated against them.

      And from Que’s comments, you may have INCORRECTLY assumed that Que is White. As far as you and I know, Que may be Black. And Yes, there are Black people (including many Black Christians) who are not bigoted towards Gay people.

      June 3, 2011 at 6:27 am |
    • Adelina

      @Jrcnnjr: People should stop comparing racism against black and colored people with telling gays the truth. The former is wrong-doing and the latter is a right thing to do. You guys can never get things right, always causing problems one after another. Gay supporters are the worst bigots on Earth. Gays need to be rescued from you.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:30 am |
  7. Bucky Ball

    Err....I think like well ho-mose-xuality is like gross n stupid n stuff cuz like that's what my pastor told me n stuff (chomp..gum..chomp chomp). Well, no, like..umm..I haven't like actually read any books about it cuz it's like hard n stuff and there's all these big words and alley-goreys or somethin' and that's like hard n makes my head hurt n stuff. But like I know it's right cuz I mean, like why would pastor Long lie ? He wouldn't do that, he's so filled with like love and the holy spirit n all that if he says f*gs are going to hell, like it must be true n like all I believe that all the people everywhere in the south africa and iraq, such as, n stuff like that.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Charge Nurse Betty

      LMAOROTF ! Bucky you have a talent.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Ken Wood

      Well said B.B. !!!

      June 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  8. civiloutside

    The Bible explicitly and quantifiably values women and children less than men by assigning them monetary values. Women are explicitly assigned the subservient role, their promises are explicitly given less value than a man's. It takes some serious doublethink to evaluate all of that and come to the conclusion that the Bible commands equality for women.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • civiloutside

      My apologies for this appearing out of place. It was intended as a reply to another post below.

      June 2, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yeah.. like being the first to proclaim that Christ had risen from the grave ...

      You need to get away from the Taliban style of intepreting the scripture 🙂

      June 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Adelina

      Amen, Mark. Talibans are more literate than American atheists when it comes to religious texts.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Finger Puppet

      Please cite the study that provides the evidence for "Talibans are more literate than American atheists when it comes to religious texts." Did you get it from the Pew Research Center ? Or where ? (It's not just an unsupported assertion is it ? Because if that's what you accept as acceptable I say "The moon is made of green cheese". )

      June 3, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  9. JohnQuest

    Adelina, Where in the Bible does it read that "God" said that "woman has no spiritual authority over man"? I have read where a man said it but is was not a quote for God or Jesus (I'm taking for granted that Christians believe that God and Jesus are the same).

    June 2, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • Adelina

      JohnQuest, Jesus always used masculine nouns in describing a person in general. He only set up male as His Apostles. With placing all leadership upon men, Jesus showed historic equal treatment of women. Paul received the will of God directly and transmitted it without contradictions. Get facts straight. Read the Gospels and I & II Corinthians. You need to come out of your own pre-suppositions and prejudices in order to read anything correctly and get the Author's intended meaning. Objectivity is absolutely necessary for any authentic knowledge.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  10. Mychaeltodd

    Bernice, is not to be trusted- I find her to be shallow and not of a good spirit.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • Adelina

      She shouldn't have become a reverend. Unbiblical.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  11. TakeaGuess

    You Christians scare me , esp you ignorant black ones from the south... Do you realize how many BLACK men are gay and always pretending as if they are straight, they are straight alright..straight to bed with their legs in the air.....its a damn shame...you DL freaks... And don't let me start on WHITE Protestant men... the country would have convulsions...LMAO

    June 1, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Adelina

      @T-G-, you are a typical of a bad kid from a good family. Poor your parents...

      June 2, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • stejo

      Adelina, you are sooo holy – except for that judgment thing.

      June 2, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Adelina

      @Stejo, no one is holy except for God. I was simply pointing out the racism. If anyone should make a racist remark, at least it must contain some general truth. The comment by Takesguess is a sheer chaos.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  12. mspattymelt

    At least she did exercise her FREE WILL and walk away! Because for Eddie Long it is back to "business as usual" and he is leaving the bill to be paid by his ZOMBIES! As long as there are "zombies in the church" you will always have Eddie Longs in the pulpit!!

    June 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  13. D

    I know this article is abot this Eddie Long guy, but for real, the most discouraging part is to hear about Dr. King's daughter. Some apples DO fall hard from the tree huh, and then proceed to roll down hill with the rest of the s.-h.-i.-t. huh!

    June 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • D

      lol. I meant *far from the tree

      June 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • TakeaGuess

      LOL GOOD One

      June 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  14. Reality

    Once again, the Long and King fiascos simply add more credence for the following:------------–

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" will converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Adelina

      Reality, sell your house and donate the money to US government. Chinese now own more of USA than the last time we talked.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  15. Not Surprised

    Lastnight on internet radio show the topic was "Bishop Eddie Long Settles with his Accusers." This was a very informative show. The facts were all presented, it made one wonder what is the New Birth Church family still doing in the pews...They have been taken for a ride & it aint over. Take a listen to this must hear podcast.


    June 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  16. Kenrick Benjamin

    To The Bobinator Satan did not Gave the Commandments to Moses God did, Jesus Christ just added to them.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Adelina

      Kenrick, no, Jesus Chrisit interpreted the Law and fulfilled it, making the new covenant.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  17. Kenrick Benjamin

    How did you come to no of Satan if not from the Bible. NOo..oON

    June 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      @Kenrick Benjamin
      "How did you come to no of Satan if not from the Bible."

      Direct revelation.
      However, Bobinator is also on the right track with, "so says the bible, which could have been written by satan." Not entirely correct, but close.

      June 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  18. Kenrick Benjamin

    To The Bobinator I know that God is Not Satan because God created Everything including Nothing. Not Satan.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      Correction: Satan created everything, God is a usurper.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > To The Bobinator I know that God is Not Satan because God created Everything including Nothing. Not Satan.

      So says the bible, which could have been written by satan.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Adelina

      God created everything good. Lucifer and humans corrupted the good which God has created and became evil willfully.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • Free

      The Bobinator
      "So says the bible, which could have been written by satan."
      I've suspected that of Paul's writings for a while. Makes you wonder who he actually met on the road to Damascus.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  19. juan carr

    judge not lest thou be judged,what a wonderful statement God made. it protects us from ourselves. at least when we understand it,but when we claim to be a better judge of character well there you have it. As God goes on to say my people are perishing through lack of knowledge, so again the world is way wrong as we tend to lead towards what you dont know wont hurt you, or sticks and stones may hurt my bones but names will never hurt me. The one thing we are best at saved or not saved is thinking of ourself thats why theres such a word as frustrated or stress or anger or hatred,vs content, peace and joy. and its when we deny that we even have a desire or need for such spiritual blessings in our life that we choose to open up our mouth and use a poor usage of words that again just reveal our problem as we are passing judgement . The truth shall set YOU free as the individual! if you choose to embrace it. It does what it does perfectly when we admit with all our heart that we assume all acountability for our life as we know it and see but that means no more making excuses or blaming, So its either you need and desire all that God has for your life or you dont. and if its the latter youll always know why your life never seems to be fullfilled . Eddie long WILL be judged for everything he did and does when he comes before A Holy God as will you a I, the Question is do you know this? and do you ask Him and depend on Him to do what His word asks of us. this is the truth and it will set you free if you ask Him and trust in His word, God Bless All

    June 1, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Free

      It seems, however, that whenever someone points out the 'judge not' teaching of Jesus they are accused of infringing upon Christian's free speech rights. Isn't it fair to say that Jesus himself would be telling Christians to quit with the hellfire talk?

      June 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Adelina

      Free, Jesus told us not to judge the people who are more innocent than us. He commanded us to judge fools like you. Read Matthew ch. 5-7 again. You Americans are complete idiots for singing "Judge not." Please lose your land if you are so stupid.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • Free

      "Jesus told us not to judge the people who are more innocent than us."
      Oh, I've read Matthew and your stand hardly seems to be in keeping with Jesus' proclamation of "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt. 5:5) and you as.sume that you are more innocent than those you do judge? What presumption! What ego you must have!

      "He commanded us to judge fools like you."
      Do you think this is in keeping with what Jesus said at the end of those same beat.itudes in Matthew?

      "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

      and he calls these people "the salt of the earth" and a "light to the world", but you, like many people calling themselves Christians, respond to any criticism whether false or not with calling us 'fools'. Remember, Jesus also said:

      "But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell." (Matt. 5:22)

      I guess you've made up your mind where you're going. Good luck with that!

      June 3, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  20. TG

    @ JohnQuest,

    The men are designed to take the lead in the Christian congregation, being called the headship principle. God established this when he formed Eve in the Garden of Eden, she becoming a "helper" or "complement" to her husband, Adam.(Gen 2:20-24) The apostle Paul reiterated this, saying that "the head of the woman is the man."(1 Cor 11:3) Jesus chose only men as apostles (Matt 10:1-4), not women, though women ministered to him during the course of his ministry.(Matt 27:55, 56)

    At Psalms 68:11, this prophecy gives evidence that women are indeed to be praised as ones that are speaking the "good news of the kingdom", saying: "Jehovah himself gives the saying; The women telling the good news are a large army."

    Thus, in these "last days", women of the Christian congregation are making known "the good news of the kingdom" as a "large army", with perhaps more women doing this assigned work than men before "the end" comes.(Matt 24:14)

    June 1, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • baldev

      Please stop the evil bible and koran from destroying more lives.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • JohnQuest

      TG, Are you saying women should serve or women should not serve? I think I am reading both in your comment. I did not read anywhere in the Bible where God thought women were less capable then men. I have read where Men thought less of women, does that mean that God thinks less of a women capability?

      June 1, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Adelina

      JohnQuest. Of all things, the Bible is the only original item on earth that declared the equality of man and woman before God and to treat children as the same human beings. But different roles are given to men and women for mutual happiness and fulfillment and healthy condition both for personal life and for the society. The Bible says when the society is bad, women and kids rule; so you know where we are at now.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • Adelina

      The Bible clearly declares woman has no spiritual authority over man. Whoever denies this disobeys God, since this is God's opinion therefore an absolute truth.

      June 2, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Adelina

      JohnQuest, whatever the Bible says is true practically. Rules by women and children in the society mean: Irresponsible, unsatisfied, cowardly men; power-hungry, unhappy, abusive women; negrected, rebellious, wrecked, sickened children.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:26 am |
    • civiloutside

      The Bible explicitly and quantifiably values women and children less than men by assigning them monetary values. Women are explicitly assigned the subservient role, their promises are explicitly given less value than a man's. It takes some serious doublethink to evaluate all of that and come to the conclusion that the Bible advocates equality for women.

      June 2, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      John Calvin, the extraordinarily influential pastor and theologian whose ideas became the touchstones for the Reformed and Presbytyrian Churches, had this to say about women's place in Christianity:
      "... (woman is) more guilty than the man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading all to perdition. It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame."

      His opinion was likely based on Ecclesiasticus, 25:19 – which states "Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die".

      June 2, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Free

      "this is God's opinion therefore an absolute truth."
      No, that was Paul's opinion. Do you honestly think that Jesus would have told the women around him to shut up?

      June 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Adelina

      @Civiloutside, refer to answers to you above this set of comments; you repeated the same comment there. @Dc V-, Calvin is right. Woman must be submissive to her man because it is right and is good for her. The Book of Ecclesiastes has no chapter 25. Stop lying and forging, atheists. You are just like your scientists. @Free: Paul's opinion is God's opinion. Yes, Jesus would definitely want women to be quiet; it is good for everyone. It's also recoreded in Proverbs. It's all right to ask questions, ask for help and state a truth, though. Free, you were raised in Judeo-Christian sanity. In regular human cultures, those were not even permitted. Atheists shot to death if anyone confesses God.

      June 3, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Free

      You're a woman right? According to your beliefs then you really don't have any right to be preaching to your male betters on this blog, do you?

      Away with you woman, we only wish to speak to your man! 😉

      June 3, 2011 at 10:08 am |
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