ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Some pastors in our area hope allegations of sexual misconduct against a prominent Atlanta preacher won't cause people to lose faith in their ministers.
Three young men filed lawsuits against Bishop Eddie Long. They claim Long abused his spiritual authority to seduce them with cars, money, clothes, jewelry, international trips, and access to celebrities.
In Georgia, there are 3,600 Southern Baptist Churches alone. Ministers say one high-profile allegation can lead members to question whether it's happened in their congregation.
"James Chapter 3:6 says we need to be on guard about being a teacher or minister because we're going to be held by a higher standard by God and we're going to be held accountable, we're doubly accountable for the influence of our lives because we're to represent the Lord and that's a high calling and there's a lot of responsibility that goes with that," said Stephen Kendrick, Sherwood Baptist Church Associate Pastor.
Long is the leader of New Missionary Baptist Church, a 25,000 member mega-church based in Lithonia. He was scheduled to host a fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes. Barnes canceled that event.