- (Photo: AP Images / John Amis)
Eddie Long, the embattled leader of Lithonia, Georgia's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, has reached a settlement in a property lawsuit over a default on a $2 million loan he took out in August 2007 to buy a local gymnasium.
The stipulations of the settlement require Long and his partners to pay back more than $1.8 million, plus interest, fees and property taxes, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Long took the bank loan together with two business partners in order to purchase the Hoops and Fitness gymnasium on Tara Boulevard in Jonesboro, Ga., reported WSBTV. The three partners formed the West Indies Holding Co. and each signed a document borrowing money to purchase the gymnasium building.
But the bank from which the loan was taken collapsed and was overtaken by State Bank & Trust, which reportedly filed a lawsuit against the trio in October 2010, demanding the remaining balance of $1.9 million, plus interests and fees.
One of Long's partners has since filed for bankruptcy, according to media reports.
This current setback is only the most recent settlement in Long's career.
Earlier this year, the Georgia ministered reached an undisclosed financial settlement in a sexual abuse case involving five former members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
Last fall, four young men filed a lawsuit against the pastor, alleging he abused his spiritual authority to lure them into sexual relationships. The lawsuit was filed in September 2010. In July 2011, a fifth alleged victim reportedly received a payout from the settlement.
The young men alleged that, during their teens, the preacher would take them on overnight trips, give them expensive gifts and would engage in intimate sexual acts with them.
Besides Long, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Longfellows Youth Academy were also named as defendants.
Initially, Long had vowed to fight the allegations, but in the end, reached an out of court settlement with this accusers.