In a statement, the church confirmed that Bishop Eddie Long, pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, died Sunday morning.
The megachurch pastor had been battling an “aggressive form of cancer,” according to a statement issued by the Atlanta-area New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
“Bishop Long, Senior Pastor of New Birth, transitioned from this life early Sunday morning after a gallant private fight with an aggressive form of cancer,” the statement read. “As a man of God with unyielding faith, Bishop Long maintained his commitment to our Heavenly Father as he proclaimed that cancer would not kill his faith nor his spirit.”
In a statement, the church confirmed Long’s death from cancer-related causes at the age of 63. “I am confidant through my belief in God that my husband is now resting in a better place,” said Long’s wife, Vanessa. “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.”
Bishop Long’s congregation was informed of his death during Sunday morning services, and the news sent shock waves throughout the church. Several members collapsed and broke into tears.
He (referring to the Bishop) “was the greatest person to walk the face of the earth since Jesus,” said one of the church’s pastors said. “Don’t let anyone try to destroy his legacy. Stay united, because he is with the Lord.”
His wife of 27 years, Vanessa Long, added to the statement that she was confident 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.”
Long delivered his final sermon to the church earlier this month. He had issued a statement last September to The Christian Post confirming reports that he was battling a “health challenge,” but said the undisclosed health issue was unrelated to his raw vegetable diet and requested privacy and prayers for his recovery.
Long is survived by his wife, Vanessa; his four children, Eric, Edward, Jared and Taylor; and three grandchildren.