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Vanessa and Eddie Long Marriage Profile

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Eddie and Vanessa Long

Bishop Eddie Long walks to the pulpit with his wife Vanessa Long to give a sermon where he addressed sex scandal allegations at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church September 26, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Photo: John Amis / Getty Images
Although Bishop Eddie Long and his wife Vanessa have been in the spotlight for most of their marriage, the latest headlines concerning Vanessa's filing for divorce and sex scandals are not what they are used to. Here is information about how Vanessa and Eddie met, their wedding, children, and more.

News Updates:

12/02/2011: First Vanessa Long announced she was getting a divorce, then she released a statement saying she agreed to "find healing" in her marriage with Bishop Eddie Long.

5/27/2011: Although he told his congregation in September 2010 that he would fight the gay sex allegations against him, Bishop Eddie Long decided "not to fight in court. Instead he reached a settlement and paid off the four young men who accused him of using his power to influence them into sexual relationships with him."

Born:

Eddie Lee Long: May 12, 1953 in Huntersville, North Carolina.

Vanessa Griffin: Abt. 1959 in Columbus, Georgia.

How Eddie and Vanessa Met:

Vanessa and Eddie's first date was a blind date.
Eddie: "I was sitting at the Supreme Fish restaurant in downtown Atlanta just minding my own business when God delivered my wife special delivery and paraded her past the window."
Source: Eddie L. Long. What a Man Wants, What a Woman Needs: The Secret to Successful, Fulfilling Relationships. pg. 21.
Vanessa: "When I went out with Eddie Long on that blind date, I had already decided I wouldn't go out with this preacher again. But he was so wonderful and made such an impact on me that I agreed to go out with him again. From that point on, the relationship really started to take off."
Source: Eddie Long. The Elect Lady: Life's Obstacles Become Godly Opportunities. 2008. pg. 146.

Wedding Date:

According to TheHistoryMakers.com interview with Eddie, Vanessa and Eddie were married at Central United Methodist Church on March 10, 1990.

Children:

Eddie has four children.
  • Eric Long: Adopted by Eddie.
  • Edward "Kodi" Long: His mother is Eddie's first wife, Dabara Houston.
  • Jared Long: His mother is Vanessa.
  • Taylor Long: Her mother is Vanessa.

Occupations:

Eddie: Pastor of megachurch New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, author, radio and television personality.

Previous Marriage:

Eddie's marriage to Dabara Houston ended in divorce in 1985 after Dabara claimed Long beat her when she was 7 1/2 months pregnant.
Eddie: "A couple of days later I met a girl, and I swore up and down that she was from God. To make a very long story very short, on the day I delivered my first 'trial sermon,' I also introduced this woman to the congregation and said, 'God sent me this young lady.' After the wedding, we hadn't even left the church building before this woman turned to me and basically said, 'I just wanted to see if I could get you.' Our marriage lasted for three years, during which time a son was born to us. Although I still wanted to make our marriage work, my wife filed for divorce anyway, leaving me broken spiritually, emotionally, and in every other way you can think of."
Source: Eddie L. Long. Taking Over. 1999. pg. 4.
Eddie: "Many years ago when I was a newly divorced single parent, the first thing I had to do was go through a grieving process ... divorce did force its way into my life, and it changed everything. I did recover from my deep disappointment, but it took time, mercy, and a lot of grace."
Source: Eddie Long. The Elect Lady: Life's Obstacles Become Godly Opportunities. 2008. pg. 82.

Sex Scandal, Lawsuits, and Controversies:

Amid controversy over his compensation, Eddie Long had several lawsuits filed against him alleging he coerced young men to have sex with him.
Larry Hartstein: "The following year, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a charity Long created -- Bishop Eddie Long Ministries Inc. -- made him its biggest beneficiary, supplying him with at least $1 million in salary over four years, a $1.4 million home and use of a $350,000 Bentley."
Source: Larry Hartstein. "Bishop Eddie Long | Megachurch Had Modest Beginning." AJC.com. 9/22/2010.

Quotes About the Marriage of Vanessa and Eddie Long:

Eddie: "When she married me, Vanessa discovered that everything she had 'inherited' when she joined her life to mine was totally opposite from what she had wanted and expected."
Source: Eddie Long. The Elect Lady: Life's Obstacles Become Godly Opportunities. 2008. pgs. 23-24.

Vanessa: "We had to really talk about the key problem areas -- and we had to listen carefully to hear what the other one was saying. So we changed what we could change, and we adapted where we had to. We set apart one night of the week as family night, and we had to put our family vacations 'on the calendar' to make sure they happened."
Source: Eddie Long. The Elect Lady: Life's Obstacles Become Godly Opportunities. 2008. pg. 149.

Eddie: "Finally, husbands and wives need to know each other in ways that foster mutual respect, love, honor, and joy in each other and in their homes."
Source: Eddie L. Long. What a Man Wants, What a Woman Needs: The Secret to Successful, Fulfilling Relationships. 2002. pg. 164.

Eddie: "In the natural, physical, and material world in which a wife lives with her husband, she must acknowledge her husband as the king of the house and the lord of the manor. She must respect his position of headship in the home. This yielding to headship is the basis on which a woman leaves her father's house and name and takes the name of her husband. Before my wife married, she was Vanessa Griffin because her father's name was Griffin. She's now Vanessa Long. She has come under my headship, my covering ... When a woman marries, she needs to take her husband's name and place her identification under his covering. If she isn't willing to accept the name of the one who is assuming the responsibility and authority for protecting her and providing for her, she shouldn't marry."
Source: Eddie L. Long. I Don't Want Delilah, I Need You! What a Woman Needs to Know, What a Man Needs to Understand. 1998. pg. 119.

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