Eddie Long, the embattled pastor of an Atlanta megachurch, has always been showy in his pulpit demeanor. But will the ever-defiant pastor soon don a crown and wield a scepter?
In a service last weekend at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Long was proclaimed as royalty by Ralph Messer, a visting speaker. “He’s a king. God’s blessed him. He’s a humble man. But in him is kingship. In him is royalty,” Messer said over Long, to applause from New Life congregants. “In him was a land of Israel. In him was a k chromosome...he was brought through the slaves, raised up in a city and God now wants to release a new anointing.”
Long was then wrapped in scrolls, raised aloft by four men, and paraded about the stage to raucous applause.
According to Messer's website, Messer "teaches the Hebrew Roots of the Christian Faith, fulfilling the great commission to "..make disciples of all the nations," and is "pioneering a work to bring the 'Good News' of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) in the Torah to the ends of the earth."
Long recently returned to the pulpit following a leave of absence. ln December, he stepped down from his role as head pastor, shortly after his wife filed for divorce and amid allegations that he sexually abused several teenage churchmembers over a period of years. The church's school, New Birth Christian Academy, was slated to close down after the Christmas break because of economic troubles. But the academy entered into an agreement with another local school, and reopened in January.