Potter’s House Pastor T.D. Jakes says he is mourning with the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church family over the death of Senior Pastor Eddie Long.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of a mighty man of valor, embattled warrior, learned and beloved pastor and man I call friend, Bishop Eddie L. Long,” Jakes posted to Facebook.
Long died Sunday after a “gallant private fight with cancer,” the church said. He was 63.
“We will miss his enigmatic catchphrase uttered just above a whisper, ‘watch this …,’ his love for the gospel shared liberally and a ministry that impacted lives around the globe,” Jakes continued.
The pastor reached out to those who are grieving:
To the New Birth family, no words can ease the pain of your loss. I pray for the balm of Gilead to heal your broken hearts. To his beloved widow, Vanessa, and his children who feel the brunt of the loss most deeply and profoundly, we pray for you especially. You have not a High Priest who cannot empathize with your present circumstance. We stand in the gap for you in your time of suffering, waiting patiently for the glory that is to be revealed to us. And pray that the God of all comfort would fill you to overflowing with a peace that passes all understanding.
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, announced Monday that the homegoing service for the late Bishop Eddie Long will be held on Jan. 25.
Elder Craig Heath said during an early morning international prayer call that the service will begin at 11 a.m. and would celebrate Long’s life, sacrifice and service, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Further details on the service are still pending but church officials on the prayer call, which opened and closed with music, said they were still in the midst of working out their thoughts and feelings about the life and legacy of their departed leader.
The announcement of the death of the controversial preacher from an “aggressive cancer” at New Birth on Sunday had hit congregants like a seismic jolt that sent them to the ground and triggered open wailing.
“New Birth members fell down, cried, screamed when ministers announced death of Bishop Eddie Long,” Fox 5 reporter Marissa Mitchell, who was on location at the church, said Sunday.
New Birth leaders and members also appeared to be in a lurch concerning the church’s future but declared “faith is bigger than fear.”