Bishop Eddie Long died on January 15, 2017 at the age of 63 because of an aggressive cancer. He was the pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia. Just a few months after his death and burial, he is back in the news again. This time it is because at his funeral, the Alpha Kappa Psi, Inc. presented him posthumously with the highest honor of the organization. Now, members of the organization are having second thoughts and want the #Laurel Wreath pin returned, according to "All Christian News" on March 13.
Eddie Long was a Kappa man
Long was initiated into the #Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. on April 13, 1974 at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. He was a member of the Decatur, Georgia Alumni Chapter at the time of his death. Many members of the fraternity attended his funeral in January. After a heart-warming speech and a special march, a member of the fraternity presented the Laurel Wreath pin to Long's widow, Vanessa, to honor her deceased husband. Now, members of the fraternity claim the late bishop didn't live a life that was worthy of the honor.
Bishop Eddie Long's funeral
At the funeral, Thomas Battles, Jr., a Kappa member, said Long was the ideal Kappa man. Apparently, the gesture was not properly thought out beforehand. The pin award is the highest honor a Kappa member can receive. Civil rights advocate Dr. Leon Sullivan and tennis great Arthur Ashe are two people known to have also received the Laurel Wreath pin.
Long's honor disputed
A couple of months after Long's death and funeral, his honor is being disputed. South Carolina State Representative Cezar McKnight says Long wasn’t an ideal Kappa man as Battles had stated at his funeral. McKnight has been a Kappa since 1996, and he doesn't think the organization's highest honor should have gone to someone whose reputation had been questioned. McKnight has stopped paying dues and offering financial support to the fraternity until the Laurel Wreath pin is returned.
Another Kappa, Anthony Jackson, indicated that Long was scheduled to receive the award back in 2011. It was at the time when he was dealing with the allegations against him by four men who accused him of inappropriate behavior. Even though Long was never found guilty, he settled out of court. The Kappas thought the scandal caused embarrassment to their organization, so they held the pin until it was presented at the funeral.
What do you think about this situation? Do you think the Laurel Wreath pin should be returned? Do you think it will be returned to the Kappas? #Bishop Eddie Long