Agreement Near in Eddie Long Sex Suit

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The civil case between Atlanta mega-church pastor Eddie Long and four men who accused him of sexual abuse could be resolved without going to trial.

Last week, Judge Johnny Panos told reporters that after three months of mediation an agreement between the parties was within "field goal range."

Last fall, four former members of Long's 25,000-member New Birth Missionary Church in Lithonia, Ga. sued him, alleging he coerced them into having sex in exchange for trips, cars and cash while they were teenagers.

Long, who has vehemently denied those claim, has kept a low profile since the case began.

"We don't have anything to comment about the status of the cases," Art Franklin, a spokesman for Long, said.

Nevertheless, Long appeared to allude to the case in message he delivered on Good Friday.

"There's always somebody going to be yakking at you. You don't have to answer to anybody but God," Long said. The resurrection "was not for perfect folk ... but for the least, those who thought they failed."

"This ain't going to be no bad Friday for me," he concluded. "It's going to be a Good Friday."

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