Commentary — 14 June 2011

UPDATE 1: Mo’Kelly just now reached out AGAIN to Art Franklin as to his statement and why it wasn’t sent TO Mo’Kelly and to the accuracy of his statement’s contents.

Check out what he had to say…note the rhetoric was toned down.  No further admonition or request for retraction…of course.  Didn’t even mention it. So it seems that Art’s email does work…and so much for “demanding” a retraction.  See this for what it is readers.  Mo’Kelly is absolutely and completely transparent.



Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 10:20AM

Subject: Re: RE: Really Art…really?

Mr. Kelly why do you feel my comment is personally directed at you? because it isn’t.


Art Franklin, CEO
Franklin Media Group, FMG
2221 Peachtree Rd. NE #D616
Atlanta, GA 30309 Franklin Media Group

Really Art…Really?  Was there someone ELSE who broke and stayed on top of this story?  Was there someone ELSE who was referenced in EVERY story regarding this around the net?

Really Art?

Let’s start telling the truth Art.  You didn’t even send the statement to Mo’Kelly.


Mr. Kelly,


I received reports about a number of blogs including yours but did not personally read all of the blogs. I appreciate your offer to be fair and hope that is the case with all of your posts. Perhaps when the schedule permits we will have the opportunity to speak. Please understand that I don’t consider this  a game and was speaking with a few colleagues recently about how to properly recognize bloggers who seek accuracy, balance and fairness as writers who are news contributors.


There’s no need to battle. That won’t benefit either one of us.


BTW…your e-mail was sent to me at a time when I was dealing with a family death. I didn’t respond to anything until I returned home today and got a call from one of the local stations seeking a comment regarding the blogs about Mrs. Long.


Art Franklin, CEO
Franklin Media Group, FMG
2221 Peachtree Rd. NE #D616
Atlanta, GA 30309 Franklin Media Group
Mo’Kelly’s final response…

Mr. Franklin,


I’m sorry for your loss.  But I must be clear.

For you to assail the supposed inaccuracy of the blogs yet in your email below acknowledge your lack of research prior to releasing your statement is a glaring contradiction.


I’m sure a lot of thought and preparation went into your statement which was email-blitzed to the media.  It’s more than difficult to reconcile the idea that in all of that feigned disgust, you weren’t sure what exactly you were responding to and to whom.


I will give you the benefit of the doubt that as a PR person you do your homework.  It is hard for me to believe you released that statement in absence of doing it.


So if I understand you correctly…you got a call today and you released a statement today and hadn’t even researched the origin of the stories, but were confident enough to blast the journalistic integrity of bloggers and the supposed “steep decline in reporting?”


I will leave you to tend to your family matters and again I am sorry for your loss.  But this issue is not one to be approached lightly.


Readers and listeners will find it more than slightly odd that New Birth found time to release a statement to the media about “bloggers” but nothing substantive of note regarding the spiritual healing process necessary for the body of Christ in the wake of the settlements.




New Birth Ministries is going to mess around and make Mo’Kelly mad.  In fact,

Art Franklin

Mo’Kelly can’t type this post fast enough in order to get this out.

Here is the statement released by Art Franklin/New Birth regarding Vanessa Long…which was NOT sent directly to Mo’Kelly or The Mo’Kelly Report.  To my knowledge it wasn’t even sent to ANY blogger directly.  Keep that in mind as you read it.


Despite a very public attack against New Birth Church and its leadership, New Birth has chosen not to respond to rumors but remain focused on fulfilling the mission that God has for the ministry.

However, in this new digital world, along with a steep decline in quality reporting, many people can’t discern the difference between legitimate journalists and irresponsible bloggers. Recently, some blog entries have surfaced claiming to have anonymous sources stating that New Birth First Lady Elder Vanessa Long has left her husband. That claim is completely and absolutely false. Mrs. Long is very much a loving, dedicated and committed wife and mother.

It is unfortunate that anyone would make such hateful and damaging false claims of this nature. These cruel and insensitive rumors have the potential to cause immeasurable pain and suffering. Those involved should feel obligated to retract their earlier statements.


The above statement was NOT sent to Mo’Kelly.  Also, requests for retractions are ALWAYS sent to the media entity DIRECTLY, not in the form of a general statement to the press alleging “hateful and damaging” claims.

If all of what New Birth says were true, there should have been a cease and desist sent TO Mo’Kelly, not a general statement to the mainstream media about a story which (prior to now) hadn’t hit the mainstream media.

Going further, if everything which New Birth alleged was true in their statement, they’d be suing Mo’Kelly, not obliquely referring to Mo’Kelly.

Lastly, HERE is the original and unedited email sent to Art Franklin, dated and time-stamped asking for either a STATEMENT, an INTERVIEW or some other RESPONSE…PRIOR to publishing.

Art was contacted June 8th.  Clearly, they thought they could ride Mo’Kelly out and that Mo’Kelly had no real voice.

Wrong.  This is just gamesmanship and New Birth’s move.  Mo’Kelly will make the next one.

They messed with the wrong one.  This is what Mo’Kelly does.  Mo’Kelly WILL have his own “statement” forthcoming.

Game on…





Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 3:51PM

Subject: Re: Vanessa Long – The Mo’Kelly Report


Mr. Franklin,

I wanted to reach out to you in regards to sources which are reporting to me that Vanessa, the wife of Bishop Eddie Long has moved out of the family home, in fact taking one of the children with her.

Now I am not naive to believe that you would corroborate this story.  This is not the point of my email.  I did want to offer New Birth the opportunity to put forth a statement regarding the state of the family to include in my posting regarding this information.

My sources are very, very strong.

In the interest of fairness, New Birth should be allowed equal opportunity to refute or disprove any of the aforementioned suggestions.  Please forward a short statement to

Or, if you are available for an audio interview (without any respect to settlement particulars) we could do that as well.


Morris O’Kelly

The Mo’Kelly Report

********** (m)


You can’t “settle” with Mo’Kelly Bishop Long.  Very nice to see a letter from YOUR publicist denouncing bloggers and no response from your wife.

New Birth had Mo’Kelly’s request almost a week ago.

The story stands.  You didn’t even send the statement TO Mo’Kelly, Mo’Kelly isn’t retracting jack.  The sources are strong and corroborated.

You’re welcome to sue. The Mo’Kelly Report will neither be intimidated nor influenced by New Birth Ministries.



About Author


Morris W. O’Kelly (Mo’Kelly) is a columnist, radio and television commentator. Visit for the latest from Mr. Mo’Kelly. He is heard weekends from 6-8pm on KFI AM640 in Los Angeles. The program is available via the iHeartRadio app and for download on iTunes and all podcasting apps.

Contact Mo’Kelly: @mrmokelly

  • Jetta

    You go, Mo. When are folks going to learn not to mess with you? You never go out there with half-baked information. New Birth is going down.

    • It’s a play on words. Until Vanessa Long officially changes her address…(i.e. serves Long with divorce papers), New Birth can claim that she hasn’t left Eddie. Conversely, there’s nothing more compelling than a statement from Vanessa, not the corporate lackey.

      I stand by my report…

      • Jack

        Mr. Kelly,

        You seem to have a personal gripe with New Birth. Is this about reporting what you feel is news or is this about as someone commented bringing down a church? Apprecaite your response.

        • Jack, with all due respect, I don’t understand why you’re angry with Mo for supposedly attempting to “bring down” New Birth, when BISHOP EDDIE LONG HAS ALREADY DONE THAT.

          Why are you not angry with Eddie Long? He’s the one who destroyed lives and livelihoods.

          What is your problem? I don’t get you people.

          • I guess my problem Jack is when you say this is an “unfortunate” situation. Unfortunate for whom? Unfortunate to me says “not fortunate”…i.e. “unlucky.”

            Sad? Yes…Unfortunate…no.

            Unfortunate absolves anyone and everyone of blame. Somebody is at fault here. Somebody created this mess. Somebody has lied time and time again to keep it hidden. Somebody has paid 25 million and signed a non-disclosure agreement to keep it hidden.

            The only way “fortune” is involved is the fortune spent to keep this hidden.

            Eddie Long is responsible for this mess. He has neither taken responsibility nor at the minimum addressed the rift in the church to begin the healing process.

            As the senior minister/bishop he is responsible for what happens in that church in a business, ecumenical and spiritual sense.

            It’s WAY beyond “unfortunate.”

      • Jack

        Mr. Kelly,

        You seem to have a personal gripe with New Birth. Is this about reporting what you feel is news or is this about as someone commented bringing down a church? Apprecaite your response.

        • Hey Jack,

          Thank you for reading and responding.

          I’m not sure you follow my work, but this is anything but personal. I’ve battled church and financial malfeasance for many, many years, going back and forth with Juanita Bynum ministries, Bishop Weeks, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Zeta Phi Beta, AME Church, etc.

          Time and time again, I get asked this same question as to whether it is personal.

          Not personal in the sense of anything against Bishop Eddie Long.

          But it is personal in the sense of my commitment to truth in the church. If you (or others) think my postings would have more to do with bringing down the church of New Birth than a 25-million dollar settlement to avoid public disclosure of sexual coercion across 4 lawsuits, then I have more work to do.

          It’s not about Vanessa Long “leaving” per se that is at issue. It is the willful and consistent attempts to discourage and deny the truth about the ministry/organization from coming into view.

          I don’t know your ethnicity, but in the Black church tradition, the First Lady supporting or not supporting the actions of the senior pastor or Bishop of a church says VOLUMES. It’s not about whether Eddie Long might be on the road to divorce, it’s about whether Vanessa Long may have been complicit in or supportive of the behavior which led to four lawsuits and a clandestine agreement.

          It’s “news” that the church acknowledges staff cuts and layoffs and refuses to acknowledge the role of the lawsuits in the financial bottom line.

          It’s “news” that the church is down to one service and refuses…(” ” ” ” “)

          It’s wholly important to discuss the nature of the deception leading up to the filing of the lawsuits as well as the declination to deal with the issues in the wake of them.

          Whether the Longs get a divorce or live in the same house is neither here nor there if we only look at this in a vacuum and disregard the preceding and precipitating factors.

          There was no acknowledgement of the hurt to the Body of Christ in the wake of the settlement, the damage done to the lives of the congregation, only an appeal for $1,000 offerings to expand the church to Birmingham and Denver.

          Absolutely it’s relevant to discuss whether Bishop Long’s wife is complicit in this charted course.

          No, I have no desire to “bring down” Bishop Eddie Long. He’s doing just fine all by himself. I do though have great concern about the truth being told…all of it. If that truth shines a negative light on New Birth or causes it great distress in a business sense for New Birth, then maybe Eddie Long should have spent less time mocking the general public with misplaced biblical allegories and veiled threats of having five rocks.

          They are in the midst of paying a 25-millon dollar settlement. You give Mo’Kelly way too much credit. Let’s be honest about what is having more of an impact on the life and future of the New Birth ministry.

          Maybe Long instead should have gotten to the heart of the matter and told the truth. We wouldn’t be here.

          In the interim, I would encourage you to search the fullness of my reporting history and you will see that this is the next and latest series of events to cover. It is neither new nor divorced from my mandate as a writer and truthteller.

          • Jack

            Thank-you for your response. I will take a look at your posts. Its an unfortunate situation. Some of the comments on here are quite vicious. It’s a very sad thing. I understand your point. I felt like there should have been a “family meeting” at New Birth. Yes Bishop should have shut the doors and talked to the sheep that God sent him. You would agree that in cases like this it is not unusual for someone to settle whether guilty or not. We have seen it before. Maybe there is a gag order. I don’t understand it so I just pray for everyone involved.

            I understand your concerns but people forget that New Birth has been a force of good in that community and they celebrate the demise of it and thats not cool to me. It’s sad on both sides. Any call for forgiveness is met with rage and anger. I am not justifying molestation or sexual abuse but Jesus was quite clear about casting stones and forgiving 70 times seventy and it seems to me that people want their pound of flesh. I wish you well in your work brother.

          • The Bible is also clear that we should expel the wicked from the church and not associate with the wicked (1 Corinthians 5). The Bible is also clear that forgiveness is not the same as repentance. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean being able to keep one’s same status and position. And the responsibilities of a spiritual leader are different if not more demanding than that of lay people.

            Human frailty is not the issue. Forgiveness is not the issue. It is about a bishop being blameless and above reproach. It is about the truth. Only in the presence of truth can true healing and forgiveness take place.

  • BriTonya

    Hey Mo,

    When you are done taking down Eddie Long and New Birth, focus that laser beam and hit Creflo Dollar too. Folk like this need to sit down and be silent!!!

  • Jetta

    Amen, sister, Creflo Dollar is a nut and a dangerous one at that.

  • Christal

    What is Ready Eddie going to do when this shameless denial is revealed to be another falshood in his continuous string of lies. Cut and run… and run farther the Birmingham.

  • MO,

    I placed two calls to Art Franklin last week and the previous week and have yet to get a response. I even went as far as leaving my email address. Nothing. For someone to malign the reputation of bloggers without even reading the posts is just reckless. I am also a journalist, so he insulted me twice. Stay in the fight. We are fighting with you on this one!

  • Cynthia

    If Art were in DC he’d be doing what they call “damage control” yes?
    only he does not seem to be doing a very good job of it. What a total mess this is all the way around. Somebody has to get to the truth and it might as well be Mo’.

  • J.T.

    Titus says a Bishop should be blameless but it doesn’t say he won’t be and in the event that he is not:

    Galatians 6 says that:
    1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
    2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

    1 John 2

    1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
    2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

    God bless you brother.

    • Jetta

      Please clarify, are you implying that these sciptures support not holding church leaders accountable for willful, repeated sin? As a blood-born believer in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I find this notion offensive because of the ill-repute brought upon the church and Christ by the behavior of some of these “leaders.”

      The concept of Christian forgiveness and Christ’s atonement for our sins is misunderstood and misused. Once we are saved, we are not to abound in sin. We are supposed to be new creatures, with the Holy Spirit dwelling inside. The Holy Spirit will not let you peacefully commit repeated, habitual sin, you will be painfully convicted. If there has been no repentance, ie. turning away from sin, then I question if there has really been a conversion, that is, is the individual really saved?

      If a fallen individual expresses remorse, makes amends, changes their ways, and in the case of a leader, resigns until they can better represent the Body of Christ, then of course we would continue to accept that person as a brother. Has Long does any of those things? It’s the arrogance and pride that are just as bad as the sin. Believers do not have to accept these qualities in church leadership, and it does not make you unloving to have discernment. The Body of Christ accepts too much mess today, which is why the Scriptures tell us that judgement will begin at the house of the Lord.

      All in love, my brother.

  • Lynn
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