- Associated Press - Sunday, December 4, 2011

LITHONIA, Ga. (AP) — The megachurch leader Bishop Eddie Long has announced he’s taking time off to focus on his family after his wife filed for divorce.

Mr. Long‘s spokesman, Art Franklin, said that the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church leader told his congregation Sunday that he will continue to serve as senior pastor at the church in Lithonia, an Atlanta suburb, but Mr. Long said he needs a sabbatical.

Mr. Long‘s wife, Vanessa Long, filed a petition for divorce Thursday in DeKalb County Superior Court to end her 21-year marriage to the embattled minister.

The split comes more than a year after allegations that Mr.Long used his lavish lifestyle and position of spiritual authority to lure four young men into sexual relationships. Mr.Long settled the cases but has never admitted to any wrongdoing.



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