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Bishop Eddie Long addressed his congregation today at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church for the first time since being accused by four men of sexual coercion.

Speaking to the congregation he said,

“This an extremely difficult time for me and and for my family. And an extremely difficult time for you….you ain’t neva got this many phone calls in your life. It’s a time when you actually see the veil dropped and see who’s with you and who’s not with you….”

“We cannot control painful situations but we can control our response to it

I’ve been accused, I am under attack. Like I said before, I’m not a perfect man. But this thing I’m gone fight. I feel like David against Goliath, and I got five rocks that I haven’t thrown yet.”

Long continued to speak to the congregation for about 20 minutes. He did not specifically deny accusations, but he made it clear he would fight the allegations he took advantage, sexually, of young men who at the time were looking to the preacher for friendship and guidance. Long acknowledged the media and perhaps others who were tuning into the service, either live on TV or from the live stream from the church’s website.

“Good morning to all our other guests,” he said. “… I do want to remind. We’re here today and every Sunday morning. And I’ll be here next week.”

He then turned on his heel and walked away from the pulpit, ending his 20-minute address.