ATLANTA - Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church responded Tuesday afternoon to reports that he is facing a serious health problem. The church's Executive Administrator said Tuesday that Bishop Long is not in the hospital.
The church also released a statement from Bishop Long. It reads as follows:
"I am recovering from a health challenge that I trust God to deliver me from. It is unrelated to the eating for life diet consisting of mostly raw vegetables that I am continuing, as part of a holistic approach to good health.
At this time my family and I are requesting that you respect our privacy.
I truly appreciate your prayers and support for me, my loved ones and my beloved New Birth Church Family."
When Bishop Eddie Long released a four-minute cell phone video in mid-August, he hoped to reassure his friends and the congregation of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia that he is in good health after switching to a diet of raw vegetables and no meat. Instead, it only spurred even more questions about his dramatic weight loss.
“You say, ‘Bishop, what happened to all of you?’ Well, part of me has melted away,” Bishop Long said on the video as he grips tension bands following a set of bicep curls.
The video was intended for supporters, but went viral and ended up on YouTube--with the popular church leader insisting he will live to be 100 or older on his new vegan life style.
“I wasn't going to get there stopping by Popeye’s. The biscuits with honey and the spicy chicken wings were my weakness. But a lot of us are still leaving on that slave menu and we need to check that out,” he said in the video.
Within the last 24 hours rumors spread on social media and all over the internet that the well-known church leader was in an Atlanta hospital battling a serious illness. Some described it as “life-threatening” and said he only had months to live. Tuesday afternoon, after a flood of calls and emails to the Lithonia church, Bishop Long issued the above statement in response to reports originally posted on Obnoxioustv.blog.