Eddie Long, one of the most popular megachurch pastors in America, is to take a leave of absence to deal with family issues. The news comes after it was claimed that his wife was allegedly seeking a divorce, although that claim has subsequently been thrown into doubt.
Long announced his leave of absence, for an unspecified period of time, during a Sunday service at the New Birth Missionary Church. He will continue to be the senior pastor at the church and officials have dismissed any suggestion that his departure could turn out to be permanent.
Long and his wife have been married for two decades. His megachurch has around 30,000 members and is one of the most high-profile in the country. He has been a controversial figure from time to time, due to his comments about homosexuality and same-sex marriage.