Over 25,000 people gathered at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia on Wednesday (Jan 25) for the funeral service of Bishop Eddie Long.
Long, who served as pastor of the megachurch for 30 years, passed away on January 15 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 63.
The six-hour homegoing service included a tribute from former NFL star Deion Sanders, who said, “This man taught me so much about how to be a man. I want you to know this man was real and perhaps all the media, naysayers and doubters, perhaps you were wrong about this man.”
Former Governor Roy Barnes remembered Bishop Long as “a force of nature” and a “confidant, friend and pick me up.”
Bishop T.D. Jakes, who was unable to attend the service due to his hectic schedule, sent a video tribute where he said, “He will be greatly missed and greatly remembered. If there is one silver lining that hovers in this dark cloud today, I’m glad that this suffering is over.”
Bishop Long’s wife, Vanessa Long, talked about life after Bishop’s death saying, “He died empty, but he finished strong. Everything we need to move forward, he put in us. We’re going to get back to the business of ministry. We’re going to serve the community. We’re going to serve others, because that’s what he would do.”
She even joked that her husband was finally able to fill the balcony again.
“We can’t get it twisted, it’s not about Bishop Long, it’s about the God that Bishop Long served,” she says.
I extend my deepest condolences to the Long and New Birth family.