*The quagmire that Bishop Eddie Long finds himself in has gotten so deep he’s decided to step away for awhile and use the time to heal his family, he says.

The pastor of New Birth Missionary Church in Lithonia, Georgia delivered the message to the congregation Sunday morning (12-04-11).

“I’m still your pastor. You’ll still receive my direction,” Long said Sunday. “You’ve given me some weeks to take care of some family business.”

Long’s wife, Vanessa, filed for divorce late Thursday afternoon. She said Friday morning she had changed her mind but by day’s end announced the divorce was on.

Long, his two children with Vanessa Long standing by his side, said Sunday he’s “still here,” adding he’s “stepped up and hasn’t stepped down.”

Bishop Long was sued in a September 2010 lawsuit by former New Birth members Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson, who alleged the bishop used his influence, trips, gifts and jobs to coerce them into sexual relationships.

The suit was settled in May after months of mediation.

source: ajc.com