Bishop Eddie Long, pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia, U.S., has died at the age of 63.

Members of his church announced on Sunday that the pastor died after a long battle with cancer.

His wife Vanessa Long confirmed the development, saying, "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he's at peace."

CNN reports that the late Eddie Long had a controversial record as pastor of a megachurch that once boasted 25,000 members. In 2010, Mr. Long and his church settled a lawsuit filed by four young men who accused the pastor of pressuring them in to sexual relationships while they were teenaged members of the church.

The bishop, who often preached against homosexuality, denied the allegations.

In the wake of the controversy, Mrs. Long filed for a divorce, but the couple eventually reconciled.

Mr. Long is survived by his wife, four children, and three grandchildren.

Bishop Eddie Long

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