Story of Centino Kemp, Man Who Claims Eddie Long Raped Him at 16, Draws Fresh Attention

Warning: This story contains graphic material.

Centino Kemp (L) now 25, claims the late Bishop Eddie Long (R) of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, raped him when he was just 16.
Centino Kemp (L) now 25, claims the late Bishop Eddie Long (R) of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, raped him when he was just 16. | (Photos: Facebook)

The story of Centino Kemp, 25, who alleges in a tell-all book that the late Bishop Eddie Long initiated him into a six-year sexual relationship with rape when he was just 16 and then threatened his life when he tried to leave, is drawing renewed interest from the public in the aftermath of the preacher's death.

Titled First Lady, the book was published in 2013 but has recently catapulted to #6 in Amazon's Biographies & Memoirs category as the public tries to makes sense of Long's sudden death from an "aggressive cancer" on Sunday morning.

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For years, up until the very day he died, Long was dogged by a cloud of allegations stemming from lawsuits filed by multiple men in 2010 who claimed he engaged them in sexual acts.

Kemp was reportedly not an initial party to those lawsuits but he came forward during settlement talks in 2011 to join four other young men — Anthony Flagg, Maurice Robinson, Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande — who charged that Long had coerced them into having sexual relationships with him while they were teenage members of his congregation. The amount of the settlements were not disclosed.

Centino Kemp, 25, claims he came to a 0,000 settlement with the late Bishop Eddie Long in 2011.
Centino Kemp, 25, claims he came to a 0,000 settlement with the late Bishop Eddie Long in 2011. | (Photo: Centino Kemp)

T. Benson Glover, who manages Kemp, shared information with The Christian Post that suggested Long and New Birth settled with the then teenage Kemp for $150,000. CP was unable to immediately verify this information independently.

Kemp's story of being groomed, however, is consistent with the narrative of the four other young men. The 25-year-old, who identifies as gay and highlights his troubled, religious upbringing in the book, claims Long connected with him on the very first Sunday he attended New Birth in Georgia after he visited with friends in 2007.

He said Long reached out to him under the guise of getting him involved with ministering to another young man his age.

Kemp agreed to travel with Long in his vehicle to visit the parishioner in need but Long spent a long while driving around and talking with him then took him to an expensive restaurant. The wide-eyed teen who was raised in the Bahamas but was born in the U.S. said he was flattered by the attention Long was showing him.

After the dinner, Kemp said Long told him they would go minister to the young man he mentioned earlier but took him instead to a Holiday Inn Hotel in Midtown Atlanta.

Kemp said he quickly realized something was wrong when Long led him to a room where they were alone together.

"Bishop immediately dropped to his knees at the foot of the bed and began to pray. 'Please, join me,' Bishop urged me. I joined Bishop at the foot of the bed, and he began to lead us in prayer. Then he placed his hands on my shoulders, but soon after I felt his hands gripping my a**. I jumped up immediately, backing away from him," wrote Kemp.

Centino Kemp, 25, claims in his tell all 'First Lady' that the late Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church raped him at 16.
Centino Kemp, 25, claims in his tell all "First Lady" that the late Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church raped him at 16. | (Photo: Facebook)

He then described in graphic terms how Long raped him while telling him that he wanted to be raped. When they were done, Kemp says Long promised to take care of him and the late New Birth leader lavished him with trips and expensive gifts.

"When Bishop promised to take care of me, he surely wasn't lying. He sent me back to school that Wednesday on a first class flight via Delta Air Lines with two thousand dollars cash money in my pocket. To a young college freshman that was the equivalent of hitting the lottery," he wrote.

"I was provided with an abundance of cash and plastic (credit cards) courtesy of Bishop. I would just waltz into the store of my choice, pick out any number of garments and simply go to the register. Prices tags no longer existed in my world. If I wanted it, I got it. It was that simple," he claimed.

And as he indulged in the gifts and money, Long, he said, exploited his sexuality.

"Bishop truly turned me out, and opened up my sexuality. At that point, there was no question in my mind that I was meant to be gay. Needless to say, I fell deeply in love with Bishop and him with me. We met for our secret rendezvous every weekend for the next few months. And over that time, his personality was so calm and sweet that his aura always set a mood of warmth, comfort, and protection," he explained.

As time went by, however, Kemp claimed Long became violent and possessive.

"Soon after the honeymoon stage of our relationship wore off, other aspects of Bishop's personality became more magnified -- mainly his insecurities such as jealousy, and his volatile temper. He began to constantly accuse me of infidelities, and then he would become physical and slap me around. I couldn't believe he had the ability to do a one hundred and eighty degree turn like that in the blink of an eye. It was almost as if he was two entirely different people," he wrote. "A few weeks after our most violent fight to date, following our trip to the mall when Bishop smashed my face into the mirror in my dorm room and scarred me for life."

He said he tried to break off the relationship with Long after that and began questioning God.

"Because of my experiences with Bishop, I had lost all faith in the church as an institution. I felt they were all hypocrites, and bloodsuckers of the poor and the weak. But more than anything, I was questioning God. I was asking God, 'Why me?' I was doing all the right things with my life, and trying to better myself through education. So why was he allowing all of these horrible things to happen to me? That was something that I had never done before (question God), and that really scared me," he said.

Kemp became so depressed as his relationship with Long spiraled out of control that he tried to commit suicide in the Bahamas after traveling there to escape Long.

He would eventually rekindle his relationship with Long a few months later, however, traveling with him as he preached around the country in places like New York and Minnesota.

Even when he was involved in a serious car accident, Kemp said Long paid for his rehabilitation and an apartment in Pompano Beach, Florida, where Long would visit him often. He claims Long bought him a ring and intimated that he was his First Lady.

One Sunday morning, he said, Long took him to church and made him sit next to his wife whom he berated for being "drab."

"I glanced down at her hand and couldn't help but notice that my ring was at least twice the size of hers. I gasped, but I didn't dare comment. I just kept my thoughts to myself and continued to smile and enjoy the service my man was giving. I almost felt sorry for her. She was completely oblivious to the fact that I was the real First Lady," Kemp claimed.

"Bishop preached a beautiful sermon that morning. Many people got saved and gave their lives back to Christ, and others joined the church and added to the throngs of Bishop's loyal followers. Some people even caught the Holy Ghost as Bishop blessed them, placing his anointed hands on them as they stood before him, and he prayed for them with his roaring voice that had the power of a thousand men," Kemp wrote.

"Regardless of his sins, Bishop was definitely a vessel for the Lord's work. Never in my life have I been privileged enough to witness such a man who could inspire and captivate the souls of thousands, and ultimately bring them closer to Christ," he added.

In one scene in the book, Kemp describes engaging in a sexual act with Long inside the empty church building. He also wrote about his suspicion that Long was involved with other young men at the time they were seeing each other.

He said during his time with Long, he spoke with him about how he reconciled his public faith and private behavior.

"He equated his behavior as equal to any other sin, and he reasoned that no man was without sin. He felt his transgressions were no worse than the next man's, and had he been in another profession he could have even been open about his sexuality and be accepted like many other gays are in this country. But being who he was, a prominent pastor, and preaching the word, trying to be righteous and follow the teachings of God and lead others to Christianity, he said that no one would respect his message if he was openly gay," Kemp wrote. "It would only make him a hypocrite, and prevent him from doing the good work he was put on this earth to do. He had a job to do, simple as that. The Lord's work, he claimed, and he couldn't let his desires disrupt that."

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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