Bishop Eddie Long will break his silence before his church on Sunday regarding allegations he sexually abused three former members of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church congregation.
The prominent Atlanta pastor was scheduled to appear on a national radio show Thursday but cancelled the appearance on the advice of his attorney.
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"Let me be clear - the charges against me and New Birth are false. I have devoted my life to helping others and these false allegations hurt me deeply," Long said in a statement Thursday.
"All I ask is your patience while we categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges," the statement read.
Meanwhile, the accusers' attorney B.J. Bernstein said she may be filing more lawsuits against the popular pastor.
The scandal has sent shock waves through the Christian community and highlighted the need for accountability in America's pulpits.
"There are many independent churches out there today that are accountable to no one," Lee Grady, an editor with Charisma Magazine, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Their board structures are controlled by a few insiders and no one can bring correction," he said. "That is not healthy. But it will not change as long as the congregations don't demand change."
Grady talked more about the Long controversy and the importance of accountability for church leaders on CBN Newschannel Midday News, Sept. 24. Click play to watch the interview.
Read Bishop Long's full statement below:
I have been through storms and my faith has always sustained me. I am anxious to respond directly to these false allegations and I will do so. However, my lawyers have counseled patience at this time. But let me be clear; the charges against me and New Birth are false. I have devoted my life to helping others and these false allegations hurt me deeply. But my faith is strong and the truth will emerge. All I ask is for your patience as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges. Finally, as I have done for thousands of others over my decades of preaching, I ask for your prayers for me, my family and our church. On Sunday, at New Birth, I will respond to my congregation.