Bishop Eddie Long's Wife Still Wants A Divorce
By Mack Rawden 2011-12-03 13:47:38
The divorce is back on. Just hours after releasing a statement saying she’d reconsidered and would withdraw the paperwork to end her marriage of twenty-one years, Vanessa Long had a change of heart. Her attorney, downplaying the decision, said simply withdrawing the divorce petition was no longer appropriate at this time. Obviously, the wording of that statement leaves the door open for a potential reconciliation, but considering the very public issues the couple has had, it seems likely she’ll move forward.
Her soon to be ex-husband Eddie is the longtime bishop of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia. He was hired in 1987, and under his leadership, the church’s ranks soared from three hundred to twenty-five thousand members. Unfortunately, some of that momentum has been counterbalanced by allegations over the misuse of donations and a scandal involving teenage boys. A little more than a year ago, four men came forward accusing the bishop of coercing them into sexual relationships. They cited trips, gifts and his position as church leader as reasons they agreed. Since each was over the age of sixteen, no charges were ever filed, and a civil lawsuit was settled out of court earlier this year. There was hope the couple could move past what happened, but ultimately, it seems those efforts were futile.
According to MSNBC, Vanessa’s paperwork indicates the couple has been living separately. There’s no word on how that, or the impending divorce, will affect Eddie’s relationship with his congregation, but to date, there’s been no signs of New Birth parting ways with the bishop.