Coincidence? Atlanta-based anti-gay Rev. Bernice King will reportedly announce today that she is resigning as an elder at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The move comes only days after Bishop Eddie Long's settlement of four sexual misconduct lawsuits filed against him and his church by young men.
Long is the spiritual mentor of the youngest daughter of the slain civil rights icon Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Bernice King will make the announcement today, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
King is leaving with the blessing of Long, pastor of the Lithonia Megachurch, and had been planning this move for a couple of years, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity. Attempts to reach King, Lewis and church officials on Monday were unsuccessful.
In his first public appearance since the settlement was reached, Long on Sunday made no mention of the sexual misconduct cases when he spoke from New Birth’s pulpit. Before the matter was settled, Long repeatedly denied claims made by the four men.
Long was accused of luring at least four young men into sexual relationships and using church funds to give them cash, gifts and cars. The four young men—Maurice Robinson, Jamal Parris, Anthony Flagg and Spencer LeGrande—filed sexual coercion lawsuits against Long and New Birth MBC last fall. The sexual relationships reportedly began when each of the plaintiffs were around 17 years old.
In October 2009, King was named the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization founded by her father more than five decades ago. The fundamentalist minister and anti-gay activist became the first woman to lead the SCLC in its 52 year history. However, she "refused to officially take over" and resigned in January 2011, reported the AJC.
Too bad Bernice is leaving New Birth. In December 2004, Long and King led a 25,000 person march against gay rights and marriage equality. Would love to hear King's position on her church and pastor's settlement to (same) sexual misconduct charges.
Read R20's complete EDDIE LONG coverage.
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