A defiant Bishop Eddie Long took to the pulpit of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church this morning to vow to fight the sexual coercion allegations leveled at him by four young men who attended his church.

Referencing notes from his iPad, Long first rallied his congregation about the "painful and difficult situations" that they all face, listing everything from Hurricane Katrina to car accidents and "loving someone who doesn't love you back."

He did not address the allegations against him until the end of his brief remarks.

"There have been allegations and attacks made on me. I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man, but I am not the man that is being portrayed on the television," Long said to cheers from the congregation. "That is not me."

Long said that he has been advised by his lawyers "not to try this case in the media," but closed with a defiant vow to fight back against his accusers.

Breaking: Eddie Long to church: ‘I am not the man that is being portrayed on television’

“I have been accused. I am under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man, but this thing I’m gone fight,” Long said.

“And I want you to know one other thing: I feel like David against Goliath, but I got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet.”

Earlier in his remarks, Long told his congregation that “we can make it through by the power of focus,” and used “POWER” as an acronym for Prayer, Outreach, Worship, Encouragement, and Resolve.

“We must not forget that our strength is not in man but in the lord.”

Long is scheduled to address a press conference at 10 a.m. and to speak to his congregation again at the 11 a.m. service.


The Georgia Voice’s Dyana Bagby is on the scene and will file updates after the press conference.