- (Photo: New Birth Missionary Baptist Church via The Christian Post)
Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has left her position as an elder of Bishop Eddie Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church just days after a settlement had been reached in the sexual misconduct case against the pastor.
The news was first reported by WSB TV, which runs Channel Action 2 News, Monday.
King served her last day as an elder of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., Sunday, Channel 2 Action News reported, citing unnamed sources. She was seen giving the altar call during the church's 11 a.m. service Sunday.
Sources told the Atlanta-based TV station that they did not know if King’s resignation was related to the settlement and dismissal of the sexual misconduct lawsuits against Long.
Four young men, Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson, had accused Long of using his position and lavish gifts to lure them into sexual relationships.
Their lawsuits were officially dismissed "with prejudice" Friday, a day after lawyers for both sides confirmed a settlement was reached in the case.
In Long's first sermon since the settlement, congregants at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church welcomed the bishop with applause and cheers when he took the stage at the 8 a.m. service Sunday.
Long did not address the allegations or the settlement during his address.
The Christian Post contacted WSB-TV and learned that Jovita Moore, who anchors the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, was the reporter who filed the story. Moore did not reply to an e-mail requesting more details on her sources.
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bernice King could not be reached for comment.
King, the second and youngest child of civil right leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, is an ordained minister and regularly preaches at New Birth.
In February 2006, King held the funeral service for her mother at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, the largest predominantly African-American church in the Atlanta region with more than 25,000 members.
King also spoke at the church's service on Sept. 26, the day that Bishop Eddie Long appeared before his congregation and told them that he would "fight" the charges of sexual misconduct.