Legacy of a General
Today, thousands of family, friends, and congregants from near and far gathered at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to celebrate the life and ministry of Bishop Eddie L. Long. Reflections and fond memories were shared during civic and community tributes by former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes, Civil Rights Leader and Trumpet Awards founder, Xernona Clayton, and friend, football Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders, including tributes from ministry leaders and the family.
We were honored to pay our respects along with thousands of worshippers in the congregation; we all faithfully followed the instructions of the worship leader:
“This is a time for celebration and worship, not mourning.”
Uplifting and moving songs by the New Birth Memorial Choir, which overflowed from the choir loft onto the stage, set the jubilant tone for the homegoing service.
The service began with Bishop Long lying in state, donned in white regalia, his cross, and rings – which were removed and given to First Lady Elder Vanessa Long.
The church was encouraged to have the proper perspective about his attire: “Bishop is dressed to meet the King. A bishop is the prince in the church, so he is dressed to meet the King as a member of the royal priesthood.”
Bishop’s casket was soon removed from the sanctuary at the family’s request so that the congregation would know that the moment was about Jesus – not a time to focus on Bishop Long.
Eulogized by long-time friend and brother in the ministry, Bishop Neil C. Ellis, the New Birth family was encouraged to keep the Kingdom vision that God had given to Bishop Long alive:
“Keep the standard high, keep the vision fresh, keep the cross in view.” – Bishop Ellis
The legacy of Bishop Eddie Long will live on in the countless lives he touched with the gospel of Jesus Christ and service to others.
Here’s one of our favorite clips of Bishop Long and the fruit of his ministry, winning souls to Christ:
The days ahead will be challenging for the Long and New Birth family. Our prayers to all that God would be close, and provide comfort, healing, and strength.