Following her husband’s death, First Lady Elder Vanessa Long, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church leader Bishop Eddie Long’s wife of 27 years, offered these words, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“I am confidant through my belief in God that my 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.”
Vanessa led the Heart to Heart Women’s Ministry Conference at the church, whose mission “is to educate, encourage, equip and empower women in their journey toward the heart of God. We meet quarterly with featured guest speakers. Heart to Heart also serves as an umbrella for Women on the Path and Soul Survivor Cancer Support Group.”
On Dec. 2, 2011, Vanessa filed for divorce following accusations in 2010 against her husband of sexual misconduct with young males.
During a Heart to Heart Conference on August 21, 2012, she stated that during her struggle with the decision to divorce Long, she chose to stick by her husband’s side and remain the church’s first lady so she could share her experience and offer guidance to others.
“I was in the middle of a storm, and I got off the ship. I realized that the best thing I could do was to let you see me as a woman, just like you. A woman capable of making good decisions and a woman capable of making bad decisions.
“Instead of condemning myself, I can use what happened as an opportunity to minister myself to someone else going through a storm,” Long closes.
Vanessa and Eddie Long have four children (three sons: Edward, Jared and Eric and one daughter, Taylor Long).