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article imageWife of megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long files for divorce

By Cynthia Trowbridge     Dec 3, 2011 in Religion
Vanessa Long, wife of Bishop Eddie Long, filed for divorce on Friday, Dec 2. Within hours she changed her mind about getting the divorce. Then within hours she changed her mind again and decided to go ahead with the divorce.
Bishop Long and his wife, Vanessa, have been married for 21 years and have three children. They built the New Missionary Baptist Church which became a megachurch in Lithonia, Georgia.
In a statement released on Friday Vanessa Long had told her lawyers to file for divorce.
In the statement Long said she decided to "terminate my marriage" after "a great deal of deliberation and prayer."
The statement also said, "It is my sincere hope that this matter can be resolved expeditiously, harmoniously, and fairly. I ask that you respect my privacy and that of my family, as my attorneys and I have agreed that we will not try this case in the media, and I do not intend to make any further statements concerning this matter. I also ask that the public pray for my entire family during this difficult period of transition." reports usnews.msnbc.msn.com.
Charismanews.com reported in a matter of hours Long changed her mind about the divorce and issued this statement, "Upon prayerful reflection, I have reconsidered and plan to withdraw my petition for divorce from my husband, Bishop Eddie L. Long. I love my husband. I believe in him and admire his strength and courage."
Late Friday Long's lawyers said the divorce was on again. A statement issued late Friday by one of Vanessa Long's lawyers said, "she has determined that dismissal of her divorce petition is not appropriate at this time." as reported by msn.com.
Four men now in their 20s accused Bishop Long of used gifts, trips and money to coerce them into engaging in sex acts with him. At the time they were members of his church and were 17 and 18. Because Georgia's age of consent is 16 there was no criminal investigation of the allegations.
The suits were settled out of court.
Huffingtonpost.com quoted Bishop Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church issued a statement saying, "After a series of discussions, all parties involved have decided to resolve the civil cases out of court. This decision was made to bring closure to this matter and to allow us to move forward with the plans God has for this ministry."
Long denied the accusations. Long has been outspoken against homosexuality and gay marriage.
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