Local churches react to allegation against Bishop Eddie Long

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / September 27, 2010

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Bishop Eddie long is facing serious sex allegations and while having to fight in court, he's also fighting from the pulpit. There is a satellite branch of his church, New Birth here Augusta.

News 12 attempted to contact the affiliate church for comment but was unsuccessful.

"I understand what it's like to be falsely accused, or to be criticized or to be spoken about against me," said Dr. Jackie Perkins, Pastor of Dayspring Church in Augusta.

Dr Perkins says if you're walking with God, your faith will be challenged.

"Every person is just one step away from making big mistakes, just in life," said Perkins.

Pastor Perkins says it's human instinct for Bishop Long to fight back and try to clear his name. But it might not be the best choice in this case.

"It's sometimes better for the cause of Christ to not get groups up to go to war with each other," added Perkins.

Perkins has been ministering for more than 40 years and he believes Long should take a break from the pulpit during the investigation.

"He probably needs to break for a bit if he's not guilty and let this thing to settle down," said Perkins. "If he's guilty he must step down.He can do that with humility, but at the same time with courage.

Hundreds of members of Long's church showed their support for him at Sunday's service. Here in Augusta, the satellite branch of New Birth opened its doors back in June. Perkins says even a spiritual leader can step off the path of righteousness.

"We expect pastors and church leaders, to be living beyond reproach to be a model to us," said Perkins. "When they don't, as a pastor it brings sadness to me and shame upon what I do. It hurts me, even if I'm trying to be the right kind of man to the right kind of thing."

Dr. Perkins adds it's not his place to crucify the Atlanta pastor but to be there as a brother.

"If he were here, I'd ask him, do you need a brother or friend to be with you to help you during this time," said Perkins. "I'd also pray with him -- that would be another thing that we could do."

There are several other satellite churches of New Birth including churches in Spartansburg, Greenville and Charlotte.