*There are new reports that mediation sessions could be close to an agreement in the sexual misconduct case of Bishop Eddie Long.
Four young men have sued Long, his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and the LongFellows Youth Academy, alleging Long coerced them into having sexual relations.
Last year all parties agreed to mediation. An agreement would avoid a lengthy and costly trial. If an agreement isn’t reached, the case could go to trial this summer.
Channel 2 Action News reported Thursday that mediation efforts to reach an agreement may be in the final stages, but none of the parties would confirm.
“We don’t have anything to comment about the status of the cases,” Art Franklin, a spokesman for Long, said Thursday.
News comes as Long conducted Good Friday services at New Birth, where he spoke on the importance of prayer and emphasized that the Christian message is aimed at sinners, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“There’s always somebody going to be yakking at you … you don’t have to answer to anybody but God,” Long said.
The resurrection “was not for perfect folk … but for the least, those who thought they failed,” Long said.
Concluding, Long said, “This ain’t going to be no bad Friday for me, it’s going to be a Good Friday.”