Bishop Eddie L. Long’s wife, Vanessa, has — according to multiple blog sites — moved out of the family home and has taken one of the kids with her.

If this turns out to be true, which there’s a strong possibility it’s not, given the track records of frivolous bloggers, this would be the continued fallout from the sexual lawsuit filed against Long that has already sent powerful shockwaves reverberating through New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and the international religious community.

Last year, the televangelist was accused of coercing four male parishioners of his church into sex. One suit detailed Long’s sexual interactions with plaintiff, Anthony Flagg, 21, stating: “Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact,” the suit said.

Since the case has been settled out of court, Long has had nothing to say in regards to the lawsuit, citing legally-bound confidentiality between the two parties. The bishop and church officials, however, are definitely responding to these latest rumors racing through cyberspace.

New Birth spokesman Art Franklin directly counters the claims of  a marital implosion and characterized the bloggers’ rumor-spreading as willful and hateful:

“Despite a very public attack against New Birth Church and its leadership, New Birth has chosen not to respond to rumors but remain focused on fulfilling the mission that God has for the ministry.

However, in this new digital world, along with a steep decline in quality reporting, many people can’t discern the difference between legitimate journalists and irresponsible bloggers. Recently, some blog entries have surfaced claiming to have anonymous sources stating that New Birth First Lady Elder Vanessa Long has left her husband. That claim is completely and absolutely false. Mrs. Long is very much a loving, dedicated and committed wife and mother.

It is unfortunate that anyone would make such hateful and damaging false claims of this nature. These cruel and insensitive rumors have the potential to cause immeasurable pain and suffering. Those involved should feel obligated to retract their earlier statements.”

terry shropshire

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