December 6, 2011
Eddie Long Steps Back from Pulpit after Wife Files for Divorce
Vanessa Long said her initial decision to file for divorce was prompted after “years of attacks in the media.”
Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Eddie Long will take time off to focus on his family after his wife filed for divorce.
"I'm going to take a little time off to work with my family," Long told his congregation at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday. "I do want you to know that this is, for me and my family, especially with me, one of the most difficult times and things I've had to face, and only because my strength, other than God, is in Miss Vanessa."
The decision came after Vanessa Long announced she had filed for divorce on December 1. An attributed statement released by Eddie Long’s church indicated she was planning on withdrawing the petition for divorce, but an attorney confirmed Vanessa Long was proceeding with the divorce as of late Friday.
The Longs were married in 1990 and have three children. Vanessa Long said her initial decision to file for divorce was prompted after “years of attacks in the media” against her and her husband. In September of 2010, four men accused Long of coercing them into sexual relationships by using his influence and giving them gifts, trips, and jobs while they were teens. Long denied the claims. The lawsuits were settled out of court in May with a non-disclosure policy.
Long’s first marriage ended in divorce in 1985 after Dabara Houston claimed that Long had a “vicious and violent temper,” and that she feared for the safety for her and her son.