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Pastor Abuse Allegations

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

LITHONIA, Ga. (AP) -- Bishop Eddie Long was focused on a message
of moving forward on the first Sunday since he resolved the lawsuits brought against him by four former members of New Birth
Missionary Baptist Church.

At his 8 a.m. service, several hundred congregants clapped and
cheered as Long appeared. Long did not address the allegations or
the settlement, which was reached Friday.

Last fall, the four young men alleged Long abused his spiritual
authority and coerced them into sexual relationships with gifts
including cars, cash and travel.

The scandal tainted Long's reputation as an influential spiritual leader who transformed his suburban Atlanta congregation
of 150 into a following of 25,000 members and an international
televangelist empire that included athletes, entertainers and
politicians.


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