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Bishop Eddie Long Mum on Sexual Lawsuit Resolution at Sunday Service

LITHONIA, Ga. — New Birth’s parking lot was far less full than normal, and the pew count down considerably. But that was the only possible external evidence of the fallout from the sexual lawsuit that rocked Bishop Eddie Long’s religious empire to its foundation.

Inside, the morning service was as spirited and energized as before the time when four young men went public with a class-action lawsuit against the pastor of the 25,000-member church late last year. Long received a demonstratively loud ovation when he appeared from his studies for the first time.

The scandal and subsequent successful mediation served as an undercurrent during the services. Some ears were perked for any mea culpa or explanation of the turn of events.

On Friday, May 27, after Long’s legal team reconciled with the four young men for an undisclosed amount, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church released a statement saying that the church and pastor were prohibited from commenting publicly about the case or its mediation process.

If anyone came to the first Sunday service after the case to hear any reference to Long’s tribulations of the past six months, their thirst was not satiated. Long, however, discussed getting ample hydration through the Son of Man via the book of St. John, chapter 7:37-39, quoting Jesus who cried out, “If any man thirst, come to Me and drink.”

But the throats of scandal lovers and gossip spillers remained dry. They will have to receive their nourishment for tawdry tidbits elsewhere, it appears. –terry shropshire