All Articles Tagged "Bishop Eddie Long"
Georgia pastor, Bishop Eddie Long appears to have taken up permanent residency in a pot of scalding hot water. The latest controversy to scandalize the Bishop’s name comes in the form of a lawsuit filed against him by former parishioners of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
According to the lawsuit, a dozen of the church’s former members are claiming that Long introduced them to a shady businessman by the name of Ephren W. Taylor, implying that he was a “friend.” The members lost over $1 million by investing their money with the self-proclaimed “social capitalist”. Long’s former parishioners claim that both he and his assistant were warned that Taylor was running a $3 million deficit, yet he stood back and allowed them to invest with Taylor anyway.
“If Bishop Eddie Long hadn’t endorsed this they wouldn’t have invested,” Jason Doss, legal representative of the former New Birth members told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ironically, although Long recommended that his congregation invest with Taylor, he decided that he would not invest. A representative from New Birth released a statement claiming that they have been urging Taylor to repay the money that the former parishioners invested with him.
“We remain hopeful that Ephren Taylor and companies related to him restore the funds that were taken from congregants at New Birth and churches around the county. We continue to cooperate as the case proceeds,” the statement read.
In 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ephren W. Taylor with running a Ponzi scheme, in addition to a civil case that is also pending against him. According to the SEC, Taylor solicited investments by promising to use the money to assist charities and poverty-stricken areas. Instead, he used the money that he recieved from churches such as New Birth to pay off personal expenses and other investors.
“He preyed upon investors’ faith and their desire to help others, convincing them that they could earn healthy returns while also helping their communities,” said director of the SEC’s Forth Worth, Texas division, David Woodcock.
It’s unfortunate that Bishop Long would knowingly place his members into the hands of Taylor like sheep to be slaughtered, despite the fact that he received warning that the investor was deceitful. It’s difficult to imagine that he even still has a congregation after this.
Check out footage of the report on the next page. What do you make of this?
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After dragging the “Bishop” Eddie Long’s name through the mud by accusing him of sexual manipulation, the accusers of the still wildly-popular Atlanta spiritual leader are being dumped by the lawyer who led them in their fight. Hip Hop Wired reports that:
This time three of the Bishop Eddie Long’s accusers have been dropped by their lawyer for violating the confidentiality clause of their settlement.
According to reports, Attorney Brenda Bernstein dumped Jamal Parris, Spencer LaGrande and Centino Kemp as her clients after the three accusers did not remain quiet and were recently challenged by Long’s attorneys, who say that they plan to collect roughly “$900,000″ for violations in the settlement.
The accusers broke the clause by participating in interviews with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, WSB-TV and CNN, as well as releasing statements on Twitter.
Long’s attorneys are looking to collect $300,000 per violation.
In May, Bishop Eddie Long reached an agreement in the case against the four men that accused him of sexual abuse.
The settlement between the four accusers was believed to be in the amount of $15 million.
The Christian Post adds:
Long’s attorneys claim that Kemp wrote tweets such as “I was literally your hooker,” and then in one directed @BishopEddieLong wrote “why that’s all I want to no.”
Clearly these young men went through a seriously emotionally damaging time, and no amount of money is enough to heal those wounds. Their attorney might be peeved at them for not honoring the terms of the settlement, but I am bereft that these men are still trying to figure out how to overcome the feeling of being sexually used. This is one of the worst things to go through in the world, because being made to feel like an object haunts you with a sense of worthlessness until you are able to overcome it.
In our American society we have a tendency to believe that everything can be made better by money. Even if we profess to think otherwise, deep down inside many of us cannot help but believe that money is all that counts, because that is what we have been conditioned to believe. But Eddie Long’s accusers are realizing that money cannot salve a deep devastation to one’s inner sensitive nature. This is hard to realize, and goes against what most assume. So I applaud their courage in believing their self-worth is worth more than $900,000. If speaking out might actually heal them, it’s worth far more than that for their revelations to continue.
I hope that the “Bishop’s” accusers give every penny back and keep talking until they are able to reach an inner resolution. In case their former lawyer has not realized it, they are the victims. Her job was to help them seek justice. Her abandonment of them shows she saw them as more of a meal ticket.
Alexis Garrett Stodghill is a senior editor at MadameNoire.com. Send tips and story ideas to: email@example.com. Follow Alexis on Twitter.
Just when we thought Eddie’s Long’s scandal and troubles were behind him another accuser reveals he had sexual relations with the religious leader. Only this time his proof is in the print – a tattoo that is. Centino Kemp a 22 year old native of Bahamas has Long’s name tattooed on his wrist with the words “Never a Mistake, Always a Lesson”…
Can Long’s list get any longer? Do you believe all these allegations?
(The Grio) –Bishop Eddie Long should step down.
In recent weeks and months, I have had much to say about withholding judgment in the wake of alleged sexual improprieties with young men in his church. Even as Long stood before his congregation and defiantly vowed to fight the civil charges, I remained cautious. I urged restraint in the face of the salacious details that emerged. I, too, needed a healthy dose of patience.
My mother and family live in South DeKalb County, Georgia where New Birth Baptist Church is located. I still own a house there. So this crisis, literally hit home. Now, as the case has been settled for a rumored $15 million, there is no way to discern the truth.
Good afternoon, luv! We were just minding our own business skipping around the web and we found a couple things we thought you might find interesting.
One of the mistakes we tend to make in our community is failing to realize that churches are businesses. True, they are organizations that foster spiritual growth and development in our communities, but when the pastor leaves the pulpit and the choir removes their gowns, money is counted in the backrooms and decisions are made about what to do with that money.
Like any other business, churches have utility bills and capital expenditures to pay. However, the uniqueness of a church is it is also a non-profit, which means there are regulations to abide by in order to maintain its tax-exempt status. I recently asked my Facebook friends the following question: “Which is more important—the comfort of the pastor or the growth of the church?” Ironically, many felt the comfort of the pastor was more important. But here’s the trick: a responsible non-profit allocates at least 70 percent of its revenue toward the programs it was formed to develop. The other 30 percent would go toward administrative costs. The pastor’s well-being should be in that 30 percent. Unfortunately, we catch a case of spiritual vertigo and slide the pastor’s well-being into the 70 percent.
Churches are obligated to use that 70 percent to train drug users, convicted felons, orphans, domestic violence victims, and the homeless on interviewing skills, G.E.D. preparation and financial literacy. In some cases, they even provide jobs and housing. Thus, we must admit, churches do serve as a lifeline to the black economy.
According to a study by Livesteez, black churches have generated over $420 billion since 1980. Based on these numbers, we would assume that $336 billion went to supporting the black community. Conversely, if we scale back those numbers, we would see that black churches also claim to support relief efforts internationally. This can be a red flag because most congregants are unable to personally travel to a small village in Angola to validate the church’s claims.
I used this example to illustrate the concept that sometimes when churches claim to be black, it doesn’t mean that they are entirely supporting the black community. Instead, some of them are just half-baked imperialistic organizations with black preachers and black people in the pews with much of their funds being exploited to scratch the backs of its leaders as the community is left with open hands.
In the case of Bishop Eddie Long, he allegedly used his influence to satisfy some twisted urges. Immediately after the allegations were made public, Long boastfully declared himself to be ‘David’ with a satchel full of stones. But, as I remember the story in the Bible, David never settled! Long did. Long may now be slightly at rest, but the congregation and on-the-fence believers are not. Here is a situation where Long demonstrated his leadership style to be more about his comfort as opposed to being in the best interest of the church body.
What we can now expect to see is skeptic corporate giving, members’ doubt in tithing, and people who were once interested in the church becoming discouraged. Churches are often an optimal solution for supporting the black community and its economy, but with self-centered decisions made by apathetic pastors, we can only continue to expect our offerings to go towards the stones in the pastor’s satchel.
Devin Robinson is a business and economics professor and author of Rebuilding in the Black Infrastructure: Making America a Colorless Nation and Blacks: From the Plantation to the Prison. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You thought we forget about you Eddie, didn’t ya? Well, we actually did til news emerged today that the case will no longer be settled out of court. A trial is expected to commence in the fall.
The Bishop was accused last year of sexual misconduct by four former New Birth Missionary Baptist Church members. Long has continuously denied the accusations although it’s safe to say that the majority of the public is suspicious of his innocence. As you may recall, one of the accusers leaked photos of Long wearing a tight body suit that Long sent to him.
Long has continued to work at his Church and up until today, it was believed that the worst was behind him. According to Mediator Elmer Gobel, who spoke to Atlanta’s WSB TV 2 news station, it doesn’t come as a total shock that mediations fell through in this case.
“It’s not the kind of thing that you sit down at a table and 10 minutes later everybody’s agreeing,” he said. Maybe Long didn’t have enough money to satisfy the demands of his accusers, or maybe there were other non-financial matters that both parties couldn’t agree upon. Whatever the case, Long is in for another whirlwind of media attention if this case does see its day at court.
The last two weeks have revealed yet another challenge for Bishop Eddie Long, the members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, the Atlanta community and America as a result of a business partnership gone bad with entrepreneur, Ephren Taylor, and his company Capital City Corporation.
As an Atlanta native and bishop that operates at the intersection of faith and finance, it concerns me to see investments go bad in the church and black community because to create a lasting legacy, people of color still have to be symbiotic. The black church is a necessary partner because it is the only “institution” we have that is even concerned about our journey from slavery to significance.
Members of churches like New Birth, which are primarily attended by Americans from the African Diaspora, have a responsibility to educate our community about how to impart a legacy of wealth and freedom for our future generations. This will take time, but how dare anyone be comfortable with African-Americans congregating to worship, dance and shout in churches that we neither build, finance or own, while those same mortgages are held by investors and institutions in other communities to the tune of $70 billion in principal alone?
We must to continue to learn. We must to continue to save and invest. We must continue to innovate beyond hair salons, multi-level marketing and record labels. We must start companies and invest in these startups. We must encourage and support our young entrepreneurs, even when they fail or make poor management decisions. We must encourage our brilliant money minds with the same magnitude and enthusiasm that we encourage our basketball slam-dunking athletes.
But for the “Ephren Taylor” deal, New Birth gets a C- on a scale of A to F.
Being young and failing is one thing, but Ephren Taylor is not the “black Bernie Madoff.” It’s one thing to invest money in a venture and it doesn’t produce the return that was projected. It is another thing to raise $65 billion over decades, not invest the money, and make payouts with newly invested money for 25 years. If we can give banks, insurance companies, automobile industries and money managers another chance to get it right after losing trillions of dollars in the recent economic recession, then we can givesmall business entrepreneurs like Ephren another chance. God already has.
Going forward, Ephren has to regroup and try again; this time, he has to be more conservative with investors’ monies and strive to produce an acceptable rate of return.
Where were his advisors? To sell or license those sweepstakes machines to the general public while sponsoring wealth tours in churches across America was naïve. The lines are too blurry to perceive this venture as “gambling” or “gaming without a license.”
On this deal, Ephren and City Capital gets an F.
The media also played a vital role because it aired Ephren’s commercials and infomercials. Now, the media reports the failure of their advertiser without providing enough facts to give viewers a balanced perspective. It is now accepted to entertain than to inform. Instead of facts, we get opinions from the reporter’s bias. When the investigative reporter doesn’t understand business or church, a standard business fee becomes a “cut” rather than a reasonable fee. Just as churches have a responsibility to deliver vetted information and opportunities for a winning future, so does the media.
Media gets a D on this deal.
We must learn that all investments come with the risk of losing your entire investment. The objective is to manage that risk and mitigate loss. Moving forward, I strongly advise that we invest only amounts of money in companies, funds and portfolios that we are willing to lose. Save the rest.
My heart goes out to the investors for the loss of time their IRAs represent. As for the customers’ willingness to “gamble” on those sweepstakes machines and then demand their money back, it leads me to believe not only did they need more information and time before investing, but a character check as well. Did they ask for their money back from the large financial institutions when their IRAs lost money prior to moving them?
For this reason, the investors and customers get an I for incomplete.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal responsibility – for all parties involved – including you and I.
Rodney Sampson is a serial entrepreneur, investor and consecrated Bishop who focuses on economic and innovative policy for the bishops and pastors he serves throughout North America, Europe and Africa via The International Bishops Conference. Follow Bishop Sampson on Twitter @rodneysampson or visit him online at www.kingdommanifestation.org or www.efactor.com.
Is Bishop Eddie Long trying to create a distraction or is he seriously asking an investor to return $1 million
in investments to his congregations members? Since news and media attention concerning his alleged sexual
misconduct with four minors, has died down, it would seem odd that Long would put himself back in the spotlight, unless he’s really being sincere here.
Based on a YouTube video put out by Long, Ephren Taylor from City Capital Corporation held a financial seminar last year at New Baptist Missionary Church. Some members went on to invest about $1 million in retirement accounts through the corporation. Long said those investments went “sour” and goes on to request that Taylor and his company return the money because
Long said those investments went “sour” and is asking Taylor and City Capital to return the money because some investors from the megachurch are experiencing hardships.
Taylor, who left his position as CEO before this situation unfolded, is not too pleased by Long’s very public display and although he hasn’t been talking to reporters, he has released a statement in which he addresses the concerns:
“Since last year, the legal team has been working with individuals to legally and privately resolve, refund and restructure any potential issues,” he said.
No information has been released as to what happened with the investments. Did they go south due to the roller coaster economy? Or was there foul play involved?