Bishop Eddie Long is on a mystery "sabbatical" after revealing he is battling unspecified health problems. The New Birth Missionary Baptist Church leader has said he is looking to God to get him through a "health challenge." The controversial Bishop offered up this information on the heels of losing a massive amount of weight, which he attributes to his drastic change in diet. Long denies his weight loss having anything to do with his illness.

Mysterious sabbatical

Long's diet consists of raw vegetables and not much of anything else while he continues to battle his undisclosed illness.

The Bishop claims that he put himself on this diet to battle the illness, but it was not the illness that caused him to drop such a massive amount of weight. The weight loss has made this Bishopsomewhat gaunt-looking in comparison to his usual robust self, leaving him open to the assumption on the public's part that this man is suffering an illness that is taking its toll on his appearance.

Sickness kept under wraps

According to the Christian Post today, a staff member at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church said that she was unaware that Long was sick until news hit the headlines this week.

The woman who talked with the media did not want to be identified.

Rumors were bound to pop up

Rumors have been rampant across social media about Long's sickness since the once 239-pound Bishop appears almost half his size from his heavier days. According to Farrah, some folks on the social media sites are with suggesting Long is battling AIDS. Faith Radio 101.3 has also reported that people are assuming Long's sickness is AIDS due to his lifestyle, but a reliable source reports that Long hasunspecified gastro-intestinal cancer that has already progressed to stage 4.

While doctors don't offer much hope and say all they can do is make him comfortable, it is Long who believes the power of prayer will pull him through, according to Faith 101.3.

Sexual scandal still haunts Bishop

The speculation by some folks that the gravely-ill Bishop has AIDS was bound to come up and build rumors after his very disturbing scandal several years ago. The scandal ended with four young men suing Long and getting a settlement out of court.

These young men were members of Long's church when they were young teens and according to their allegations, they were led down the wrong path by the Bishop. They banded together to sue Long for grooming them as boys and having sexual relations with them while they were young teenagers.

The alleged victims accused Long of buying them gifts and taking them on trips as part of his alleged grooming process, which built their trust and admiration for the man. Some of these gifts Long gave these young teens were as elaborate as a new car, according to the court documents. The lawsuit graphically described the intimate sexual acts that the boys accused Long of coercing them into.

Long condemned homosexuality

While these behaviors allegedly went on behind the scenes, Long stood at the pulpit in front of his congregationand often condemned homosexuality. According to CNN, he was known for crusading internationally against gay marriage. Because of his strong stand against gay marriage, these sexual allegations drew attention from across the globe.

The Bishop settled these cases out of court with the amount they settled upon not released to the public, as reported in an archived article from CNN News back in 2011.

The months of allegations finally came to a head after about eight months of the story being in the headline news.

Lifestyle brings assumptions

With Long's undisclosed sickness today and with the amount of weight he has dropped, there are some surmising that his lifestyle may have cost him his health. While Long denies he is deathly ill and the church is saying the Bishop Long is on a sabbatical until October, the rumors continue.

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