Eddie L. Long is the senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Lithonia, Georgia, United States. He first served as pastor in 1987 for a congregation consisting of just more than 300 members. Since his installation, New Birth’s membership has multiplied to well over 30,000 members.
Born in Huntersville, North Carolina, Eddie L. Long is the husband of Columbus, Georgia native Vanessa Griffin Long and the father of four children, Eric, Edward, Jared, and Taylor. He attended North Mecklenburg High School before attending North Carolina Central University, where he received a degree in Business Administration. Long is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc.
Located in DeKalb County, Georgia, in the city of Lithonia, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church seeks to impact the community through many outreach programs and community-empowering projects orchestrated by Long. Long also serves as the founder and CEO of New Birth Christian Academy, a Christian school operated by New Birth.
In addition to serving as the senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Long also serves as a member on several boards, including the Morehouse School of Religion Board of Directors (Vice Chair); Board of Visitors for Emory University; Board of Trustees for North Carolina Central University; Board of Trustees for Young Life; Board of Trustees for Fort Valley State University; Board of Directors for Safehouse Outreach Ministries; and 100 Black Men Of America (honorary). In 2006, Long was unanimously voted as Vice Chair of Beulah Heights Bible College’s Board of Trustees. He’s also served as co-chair for the “Hosea Feed the Hungry” project since 2001.
Long was honored in 2005 at the Trumpet Awards for his leadership, dedication and service around the world. That same year, he received the "100" award for his efforts in the area of economic development, youth development, education and health awareness by the DeKalb Chapter of the 100 Black Men of America. Particularly for health awareness, Long was honored by the Center for Disease Control and the National HIV/AIDS Partnership (NHAP) for his work in fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS.
In 2006, Long was chosen by the family of Martin Luther King, Jr. to host and officiate the homegoing ceremonies for Mrs. Coretta Scott King, wife of the late civil rights pioneer. The event was attended by four Presidents (George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter).
Long has authored numerous books, including I Don't Want Delilah, I Need You; Power of a Wise Woman; What a Man Wants, What a Woman Needs; Called to Conquer; Taking Over; It's Your Time!; Gladiator: The Strength of a Man; The Blessing in Giving and Deliver Me From Adam.
Long received his Bachelor degree in Business Administration from North Carolina Central University and a Master of Divinity degree from Interdenominational Theological Center. He has received honorary doctorates from North Carolina Central University, Beulah Heights Bible College of Atlanta and the Morehouse School of Religion. Long also holds an earned doctoral degree, or PhD, in Pastoral Ministry from the International College of Excellence, which is a sister school of Life Christian University in Tampa, Florida.
On August 28, 2005 the Atlanta Journal-Constitution printed a front page spread accusing Long of mishandling funds that were funneled through a charity started by Long. The article reports that from 1997-2000, the non-profit charity, Bishop Eddie Long Ministries Inc., provided him with at least $3.07 million in salary, benefits and the use of property. Long contended that the charity did not solicit donations from members but instead gained its income from royalties, speaking fees and several large donations.
In 2006, Long's appearance at Atlanta's Interdenominational Theological Center's graduation stirred up controversy, and led to some students discussing a boycott. Long's invitation prompted Black liberation theologian James Cone -- who was scheduled to receive an honorary degree -- to boycott the ceremony. Thirty-three graduating seniors sent a letter to the seminary's president "questioning Long's theological and ethical integrity to be their commencement speaker." Many students did not agree with Long's beliefs that God can "deliver" homosexuals and his teachings on prosperity.