Standing tall and appearing unweathered by the damning sexual coercion allegations against him, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, addressed the thousands in attendance at the Lithonia megachurch Sunday, Sept. 26.
“I am not a perfect man, but this thing I will fight,” Long said.
During his brief speech Long did not directly address any of the allegations made against him, nor did he provide an admission of guilt or innocence. Long said he was “not going to try this case in the media.” and that “It will be tried in the court of justice and dealt with in the court of justice. That’s the only place I think I’ll get justice.”
Four men—Anthony Flagg, 20; Maurice Robinson, 21; Jamal Parris, 23; and Spencer LeGrande—each filed lawsuits last week which accused Long of using his status as their spiritual leader, money, gifts and trips to coerce them into performing sexual acts with Long.
Long ‘s statements made during New Birth’s 8 a.m. service were met resounding support from many members in attendance.
“My first responsibility was to my family—and then my next responsibility was not to address the word before I address my family at New Birth,” Long said.
Long, who under the advice of his counsel had not spoken publicly but had issued a public statement, was able to use his own words to address the crowd and the allegations.
“I’m under attack,” he declared. “I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet.”