He’s been embroiled in at least eight lawsuits, was investigated by Congress and he lives a lavish lifestyle that has drawn admiration and criticism.
Still, in the past few months Long’s financial empire has shown signs of weakness. Now with his megachurch showing financial strain and his wife filing for divorce, Long’s finances are under the microscope.Long became pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in DeKalb County in 1987. Since then, the church has grown into a mega-church with thousands of members and was once worth nearly $100 million. Channel 2’s Jodie Fleischer started looking into Long’s assets more than six months ago. She found very little paperwork because the church and its dozens of affiliated companies file very few public documents.
Long drives a Bentley, lives in a million-dollar home and has owned Gulfstream jets. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley led a congressional investigation into lavish lifestyles at six ministries, including Long’s. He looked into congregation members giving cash “love offerings” to the bishop on top of their tithes.
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