Who is Eddie Long? Pioneering leader of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia

Eddie L. Long/Facebook

Bishop Eddie Long devoted his life to serving God, but it hasn't been an easy road. Now, his name is making waves again after new images surfaced showing dramatic weight loss, which has led some to assume that Long is very sick.

Born as Eddie Lee Long, Long is the pioneering leader of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in DeKalb County, Georgia. He is described as a "revolutionary mind changer" as he was able to grow his church from having 300 church members in 1987 to 25,000 members to date.

The New Birth Missionary Baptist Church further described: "Bishop Long is highly regarded for his vision, boldness, and unapologetic courage to walk in the supernatural. As a pastor, he is well respected and loved for his passion to bring souls into the body of Christ and join them to a local church body, and for preaching and teaching messages that change mindsets and encourage hearts."

However, along with Pastor Long's popularity came controversial lawsuits, the first one was in 2005 when he was accused of using money for personal use from his church. The Senate investigated the case but in the end, Pastor Long was found not guilty.

In 2010, he was accused of coercing three people, namely Maurice Robinson, Anthony Flagg and Jamal Parris, to have sexual relationships with him. The lawsuits were settled out of court.

Now, his recent appearances have garnered huge attention due to his dramatic weight loss. In his Facebook video, he said that he has turned vegan and points to eating raw vegetables as the reason for losing weight and becoming healthy. Despite that explanation, many still believe that Long is sick and that his illness is the cause of his dramatic weight transformation.