Long has “been successful at building a ministry at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church that places a special emphasis on outreach to men, reinforcing to men the importance of partnering with a ministry that will grow them spiritually and will help them develop the life skills needed to become successful in the workplace and teach them how to become entrepreneurs and leaders,” the court documents said.
“Bishop Long admits that he mentors many young men from challenged backgrounds, who have often been without the benefit of a male role model,” according to the documents. “The mentor/mentee relationship between Bishop Long as mentor and the mentee is firmly grounded on expressed promises of honesty and truthfulness.”
Long provided cars for the youths so they would have transportation to school and work, according to the responses, and provided them housing when they needed it — in the case of LeGrande, for instance, because his school had no dormitory and he was living in a hotel room, and in the case of Flagg, because he could not return to his mother’s home after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting her during a confrontation. Long provides many church members with employment, the responses said.
Long admits that he “provides opportunities for travel, education and personal growth to many members of his congregation” and claims in the responses that he often shares hotel rooms with members of his congregation when traveling.
Some of the young men have said that Long encouraged them to call him “Daddy.” In his responses to the suits, Long’s attorneys say that the “entire New Birth membership calls Bishop Long ‘Daddy’ or ‘Bishop.’” Participants in the pastor’s LongFellows Youth Academy call him “Pop,” according to the documents, and members of other churches call Long “Granddaddy.”
“The references to and association between Bishop Long (and other religious leaders) and a ‘Spiritual Father’ is based upon the crisis in the African American community of fatherlessness,” the documents said.
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published at The Huffington Post and www.eurweb.com. It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. For more Mo’Kelly, http://mrmokelly.com. Mr. Mo’Kelly can be reached at email@example.com.