*Atlanta-area church leaders met at a restaurant Friday to discuss the situation surrounding fellow pastor Eddie Long, who’s facing multiple lawsuits by men who claim he coerced them into sexual relationships when they were teenagers.
Pastor Jasper Williams Jr. of Salem Bible Church in Atlanta says he proposed to the group that they “pray for the situation.” He also stated that “homosexuality,” “whoring” and “ho’mongering” [sic] are “sins,” and “if allegations come out however they are, we are forgiving.” [See entire quote in video below.]
In related news, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes canceled a fund-raiser with Bishop Long last week after news of the lawsuit broke, but says he has no plans to give back the $5000 in campaign contributions donated by Long, who is pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
“The allegations are troubling but there’s not been one deposition taken, not one thing. Let’s let the legal process work,” said Barnes, whose political relationship with Long spans two decades.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Bishop Long tried to have burglary charges against one of the men now accusing him of sexual coercion dropped.
Despite the personal intervention of Bishop Long, the DeKalb County district attorney will move forward with its case against two men accused of breaking into Long’s office at New Birth, the chief assistant DA said Monday.
Four young men filed suit against Long last week accusing him of sexual coercion. One of them, Maurice Robinson, has been charged with the burglary of Long’s office.
Last month, Long visited former District Attorney Gwen Keyes-Fleming and asked her to drop the charges, Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary said.
“He did request we not prosecute both parties,” Geary told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday.
Keyes-Fleming, who resigned to take a job with the Environmental Protection Agency, denied that request. The acting district attorney also wants the case to move forward, Geary said.
“The file is still open and we have no intent to drop the charges,” Geary said. Robinson and Anthony Boyd were charged with breaking into Long’s office and taking an iPod, iPad and jewelry, according to a police report.
Robinson’s attorney, B.J. Bernstein, said Robinson, 20, committed the burglary out of “retaliation” after learning that Long was involved with other men.