This week in Christian history: George Beverley Shea born, Indian evangelist baptized

Eddie Long 'crowned' at service – Jan. 29, 2012

Bishop Eddie Long is seen "crowned" as "King" during a televised service at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church involving Rabbi Ralph Messer on Jan. 29, 2012. | YouTube/New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

This week marks the anniversary of when controversial Georgia megachurch Pastor Eddie Long was honored in a ceremony in which a Messianic rabbi appeared to crown the leader.

Held at Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, the ceremony involved a fusion of Jewish and Christian elements, including presenting Long with a Torah scroll and him being lifted up while seated in a chair.

Video of the ceremony went viral online, garnering widespread backlash from Christian and Jewish observers, among others.

Rabbi Ralph Messer, who oversaw the ceremony, told The Associated Press shortly after the service that the purpose of the event was “not to make Bishop Eddie L. Long a king.”

“My message was about restoring a man and to encourage his walk in the Lord,” he explained. “The presentation of the Scroll of Torah was simply a way of bringing honor to a man who had given his life to the Lord and had given so much to his church, the Atlanta metro area and throughout the world.”

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