Bishop Eddie Long, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia, released a video on YouTube earlier this year pleading with Ephren Taylor Jr., the former chief executive of City Capital Corp. in Chicago, to "do the right thing" and return nearly one million dollars in funds that members of the church invested in his company.
Ten members of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church recently filed a lawsuit against Long, claiming that he used his influence to convince them to invest with Taylor during one of the church's "Wealth Tour Live" seminars in Oct. 2009. Their investments went sour, and the lawsuit claims that Long and the church received compensation from Taylor for promoting his company, though Long denies these allegations.
"I'm asking you to join with me to make an appeal to Ephren Taylor and City Capital, that they would return as soon as possible the funds, and with interest preferably, to those who have invested in good faith, who have invested because of their love of God, who have invested because of love of their family," said Long, addressing his congregation in the video, which is shown below.
"Please, do what's right. You're a great fellow, you're a great man, you do great things, let's settle this so these families can move on," he pleaded with Taylor.
The current lawsuit comes in close succession to a trail of legal battles the New Birth pastor has faced over the past few months.
The most recent involves three of the five men that brought a lawsuit against Long, claiming that he lavished them with expensive gifts, trips and provided financial assistance, all the while coercing and manipulating them into engaging in sexual misconduct. Long is seeking at least $900,000 of settlement money back from Jamal Parris, Spencer LeGrande and Centino Kemp after they violated their confidentiality agreements by speaking publicly to the media.
Video: Bishop Eddie Long Asks Ephren Taylor to Return Church Member's Money