*Eddie Long and all the other Black pastors under fire right now has prompted a media frenzy and shaken believers. In response, Michael A. Stevens, senior pastor of University City Church of God in Christ in North Carolina, found it necessary to defend Black preachers in a recent interview with KTLA.

When asked what the church’s response to these allegations should be, Pastor Stevens responded: “The church must have an answer.  And yes, four years ago we saw this happening, not only at the level of bishops and elders, but even in the pews and throughout the culture of the church. It had been under the radar and no one wanted to talk about it. I wrote the book to give an answer that there can be change and good change at that,” Stevens said.

Stevens also has this to say about this latest church-based, same-sex scandal:

“Clearly, these are allegations and there is a presumption of innocence for Bishop Long, but once again, the Black Church suffers. Look, my motivation is simple, my ambition is to protect the integrity of the Black Church and the Black Pastor and if that makes some people uncomfortable when I expose some of the goings on behind the pulpit, so be it.

“The actions involved in these allegations are an unfortunate and unnatural phenomenon that is being exacerbated and perpetuated in the culture of the Black Church. And often times it is under the guise of spiritual fathers and spiritual sons. I will continue to write and lecture about these issues because they must continue to be addressed,” says Stevens.

The full interview is available here.