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In-Depth: Who Was Eddie Long’s Wife?

Years of marriage to a Bishop can bring public scrutiny and personal gratification. Dive into this enlightening article about Eddie Long's wife, Vanessa, and their consequential family life.
by Rob Gillham | Jan 8 2024

As pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia, Eddie Long was loved by many in his congregation. However, he only shared his life with two women during his life; Dabara Houston and Vanessa Griffin.

In this article, we will explore the personal life of Eddie Long’s wives and the multiple controversies that followed the pastor. 

The Controversial Life Of Eddie Long

Eddie Lee Long (May 12, 1953 – January 15, 2017) served as the senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in DeKalb County, Georgia, from 1987 until his death.

Under Long’s leadership, the church membership grew from 300 to 25,000. He faced a Senate investigation regarding personal gains from the church’s tax-exempt status, which concluded without finding wrongdoing.

Additionally, he faced civil lawsuits accusing him of sexually abusing underage male members, settling them out of court.

In 2005, it was reported that Long received over $3.07 million in compensation and benefits from his charity. A Senate investigation into the tax-exempt status of his ministry found no definitive wrongdoing, but church donations declined afterward.

Long was known for denouncing homosexual behavior and promoting “homosexual cure” programs. He led a march against same-sex marriage and faced criticism for his beliefs.

In 2010, lawsuits were filed accusing Long of coercing sexual relationships with young men, leading to protests and calls for his resignation. The lawsuits were settled out of court in 2011.

In 2011, it was aired an episode of the series Sex Scandals In Religion on VisionTV investigating all the scandals around Eddie Long.

Eddie Long’s Two Wives: Dabara Houston and Vanessa Griffin 

Eddie Long did marry twice in his life. 

In 1981, he married Dabara Houston, but their union ended in divorce in 1985. She claimed to be a victim of Eddie’s violent mistreatment, which Long denied, and she later gained custody of their son.

Later in 1990, he married Vanessa Griffin. In 2011, facing all the accusations of sexual misconduct against underaged boys, their marriage encountered difficulties. She initially filed for divorce but later withdrew the petition, and Long decided to take a break from ministry to save their marriage.

Although Vanessa dismissed the divorce petition in 2012, whether they fully reconciled remains undisclosed. 

The Children of Eddie Long 

Eddie Long fathered four children; Edward, Jared, Taylor, and Eric Long. His first child, Edward, was from his first wife Dabara. His other three children were born during his marriage to Vanessa Long. 

Edward, the eldest of Eddie Long’s children, chose a path that intertwines music and ministry. Following his father’s footsteps, Edward earned his ordination and serves as a youth director at New Birth Missionary Church, where his father led as the senior pastor.

Besides his significant role in the church, Edward’s artistic side emerges in his music. He has graced multiple platforms, ministering at Crenshaw Christian Center, Mega Fest, and World Changers Church International, among other events, as documented on his Instagram page

If you’re interested in reading more about the lives of well-known figures, including the highs, lows, and everything in between, consider checking out the book Celebrity Stories on Blinkist.


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