Nearly a month after revealing his drastic weight loss, a megachurch bishop is rejecting rumors of being in doctor’s care. Eddie Long, the head of Georgia’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, shared a video of himself noticeably slimmer on Facebook last month.
Obnoxioustv reported Long was hospitalized in an Atlanta hospital since Aug. 29. The site received the information from an anonymous church source.
Now, the pastor released a statement to WSB-TV stating he is in recovery.
“I am recovering from a health challenge that I trust God to deliver me from. It is unrelated to the eating for life diet consisting of mostly raw vegetables that I am continuing, as part of a holistic approach to good health,” he said. “At this time, my family and I are requesting that you respect our privacy. I truly appreciate your prayers and support for me, my loved ones and my beloved New Birth Church Family.”
Additionally, the church’s executive administrator told Fox 5 he is not in the hospital.
The diet Long referred to in the statement is what led to his new look last month. In the video – which has since been removed from his Facebook page – the pastor credited abandoning a “slave menu” for his transformation.
“I said to my congregation that I’m going to live to be 100 years old, maybe add a few more years,” he said in the clip. “But you know what, I wasn’t going to get there by stopping by Popeyes. That was my weakness. The biscuits with honey and chicken wangs, spicy, and all of that. Many of us are still eating from a slave menu, you need to check that out.”
“I’m on the medicine that God gave you to feed your immune system to build you up,” he added. “You know what, if you really want to move through this world and have influence, you gotta be spiritual and you have to walk by his commandments and you have to be healthy.”
After the video’s release, rumor swirled the bishop was suffering from a grave illness like cancer.
Atlanta Black Star initially left a request for comment on the hospital admission with Diana Williams of Long’s executive office. Administrators did not return the call.