It’s official. Bishop Eddie Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is laying off jobs and cutting salaries.
New Birth is one of the largest mega churches in the country with over 25,000 members on it’s roster. Over $20 million dollars was collected from it’s members through tithes and offerings last year, with more than $1 million designated directly to Eddie Long’s pockets as love offerings.
So with all those people and all that money coming in, why in the world would the church be laying off jobs and cutting salaries?
Perhaps it’s that the church also lost money in the financial scandal that Long pleaded about in that YouTube video.
Oh wait… maybe it’s because flocks of members stopped drinking the kool-aid and are finally leaving the church in search of a less scandalous church home.
Shoot… if my church was getting sued and shot up every other day, I’d leave too!
Long’s infamous sex scandal could be the major blame of it all. He famously vowed to “fight very vigorously” against the lawsuits, but by mid-December he decided to keep things on the “low” by agreeing to mediation (read: a private resolution that will likely make out-of-court financial settlements contingent upon the silence of his alleged victims).
The cases are still pending but it seems mighty suspicious that New Birth is cutting back on some of it’s finances.
They claim it’s the economy that’s forced them to take drastic measures but I know I’m not the only one who feels it’s Long’s confidential settlement with the four young men who accused him of sexual coercion that may be putting a dent in the Church’s pockets.
According to the AJC, New Birth released a statement staying about cutting jobs and said they also adopted a “pilot program” adjusting the work week from five to four days.
“Like numerous other churches and charitable organizations across Georgia and the rest of the country, New Birth and its faith community have been impacted by the nationwide downturn in the economy,” according to a statement.
Art Franklin (New Birth spokesperson) said the church “responded with fiscal prudence and common sense” to the changes in the economy.
It was unclear whether the compensation of the pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, was affected by the changes or how many people are employed at New Birth. The statement said Long’s compensation is determined by an independent board, “in conjunction with advice and counsel of New Birth’s CPAs and tax advisers, all in accordance with IRS regulations.”
In recent weeks, church members and New Birth watchers say attendance has declined. Some placed the blame on the recent legal scandal involving Long, while New Birth said it is experiencing “a shift in the worship pattern,” but said it’s because there has been a “marked increase” in the number of people watching services online.
The church has also stopped having its popular Easter service at the Georgia Dome. The service typically drew tens of thousands of worshipers but in lieu of the scandal, that’s been put on hold indefinitely.
So with all the member & monetary losses you would think Long would step aside and let someone else lead his flock while he takes care of his legal issues… but nope. That ain’t happening!
If you think Long’s learned anything from being publicly “outed” think again…
In the midst of the mediation, Bishop Long held the first of three Monday night men’s-only prayer vigils at his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church earlier this week. In preparation, Long posted the following video to call all “men” to stand in prayer.
He’s asking for collective prayer session for our nation, but in reality it’s the Bishop who needs prayer and guidance.
“Men all men, starting tomorrow night and the next three Monday nights … we will be worshipping in the sanctuary and praying. God has put a mandate on me to call men together—the Bible says three times a year shall men come together to praise and bless his name and bring an offering worthy of the Lord. So you’re bringing an offering, we’re praying, and God specifically said pray for this nation in such a time as this.
And when God says pray for the nation, that means there’s something serious. And I believe that we’ll get a breakthrough for this nation for our president, for the Congress, for the Senate, for the governors around this country, etcetera, that they’ll do justice, love, mercy, walk humbly with you and a revival and a revolution would break out for the spirit in the kingdom of God. …You don’t have to be a member of this church to be here for our prayer. If you’re a man, come, join us, bring your friends. We’re going to have a wonderful time in the glory of the Lord.”
What do you think of all this New Birth hoopla? Will it ever end?