(Photo: Fox 5)
Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia is being accused of having had an abusive gay relationship with a teen in a new book published earlier this week.
The accuser, Centino Kemp, was one of the five young men who settled out of court with Long over the alleged sexual relationships. Long has denied the accusations and tried to move on, but the newly published book, titled First Lady, co-written by Kemp and T. Benson Glover, has already surged to the No. 8 spot on Amazon's non-fiction Kindle section.
The "tell-all" biography of Kemp shares of a violent encounter between him and Long in 2006 in Miami at Keiser University, where the bishop allegedly physically assaulted the teenager. The account also includes a reference to a sexual relationship between the two, hidden from Long's wife and family.
Kemp, who unlike other accusers of Long was not a member of New Birth Missionary, describes his long and troubled past, sharing of parents who were absent from his life and did not provide him the support he needed growing up. Kemp also admits to being gay and reveals how that affected him over the years.
"With heart wrenching passages about a young boy who was reared in a tight-knit small church community, the book unveils a portrait of a gorgeous mother 'with a stunning red-bone complexion' and a Haitian father who himself was also an author, but largely absent from his son's life," The Examiner states.
Long had been accused by five young men of abusing his spiritual authority by lavishing them with gifts and coercing them into sexual acts during overnight trips. The men, who were teens at the time the alleged acts took place, filed lawsuits in 2010. The preacher settled the lawsuits out of court in 2011.
The New Birth pastor, who is married and has four children, has denied the allegations that he seduced the men and said there was no sexual contact. He did, however, admit that he gave the young men gifts, helped them financially and took them on trips.
More recently, Long was hit by a separate lawsuit earlier this week filed by several former church members who claim that the pastor encouraged them to invest money in a company that had a $3 million capital deficit.
The alleged Ponzi scheme, ran by social capitalist Ephren W. Taylor who led a series of financial seminars in October 2009 at New Birth church, took more than $1 million in investments from 12 former members.
"If Bishop Eddie Long hadn't endorsed this they wouldn't have invested," plaintiffs attorney Jason Doss explained – though Long has called upon Taylor to return all money taken and repay the victims with interest.