Eddie Long Settles Lawsuit with Church Members In Alleged Ponzi Scheme

Bishop Eddie LongMore than a dozen members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church have managed to recoup some of their losses, originally totaling nearly $1 million, in a civil suit involving Bishop Eddie Long and alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind Ephren Taylor.

Thirteen former members of Long’s Lithonia, Ga., megachurch recently reached a confidential financial settlement with the Christian minister, although neither he nor Taylor have admitted to any wrongdoing. “I somewhat blame New Birth, because when this happened, instead of really showing us love, we were kind of looked at as outcasts,” J.B. Bailey, one of the 13 victims who has recouped his money, told MyFoxAtlanta.com.

Long had endorsed Taylor to New Birth Missionary Baptist Church congregants as his “friend” and “brother” during a financial seminar in October 2009. Taylor managed to convince members to invest nearly a million dollars into ventures that were essentially nonexistent. But before Taylor had even arrived at the Georgia megachurch, someone attempted to intercede and warn Long about the nefarious history surrounding his scheduled guest.

An internal memo discovered as evidence during an investigation at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church shows that an unidentified person had tried to reach Bishop Long, but instead had to leave a message – about Taylor possibly intending to “take advantage” of church members. “Bishop Long really did not guard his flock the way he should have,” said Quinton Seay, an attorney representing one of Taylor’s fraud victims. “Bishop Long was given a very explicit warning. Basically, he was told exactly what was going to happen, and it materialized.”

When the scandal broke, Long publicly released a video of himself pleading with Taylor to “do the right thing” and address the loss of money.

“I’m not mad at Bishop Long, just a little disappointed,” said Bailey, one of the 13 whose case was redressed.

It was through church visits that the self-declared “social capitalist” targeted victims, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed charges against Taylor in 2012.

The SEC alleges Taylor had been “running a Ponzi scheme that targeted investors in church congregations,” in filed charges that included his company City Capital Corporation and its former corporate officer, Wendy Connor. Taylor, who the SEC said raised approximately $11 million dollars between 2008 and 2010, used investors’ money to pay off other investors, and cover personal expenses like his company’s payroll and rent.

Ephren, in his early 30s, apparently has been in hiding and was last seen in August 2013 in Lenexa, Kan

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Oxygen Greenlights Season 2 Of “Preachers of L.A.” And Begins Castings for New Editions

preachlaLos Angeles, CA — While we here at The Belle Report broke the news a few weeks ago, about the return of the Preachers of L.A., we now have a few more new details about the return of the show.

Preachers of L.A. has been picked up for a second season and will air Fall 2014. Returning with Bishop Noel Jones, Minister Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Pastor Jay Haizlip, Pastor Wayne Chaney and Bishop Ron Gibson, “Preachers of L.A.” gives viewers a candid and revealing look at the dynamic lives of these mega-pastors in Southern California. On the heels of the show’s success, the network announced it will begin casting new editions in New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Detroit.

“‘Preachers of L.A.’ touched the heart strings of our Oxygen viewers. They were captivated by the triumphs and tribulations of these men of God and the amazing women and families that stood alongside them.” said Rod Aissa, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and Development for Oxygen Media. “We look forward to bringing more of these compelling stories to life both in LA and around the country.”

“Preachers of L.A.” hit rating milestones by becoming the most watched freshman series in network history among P25-54 and averaging over one million total viewers. Delivering digital success as well, the series averaged more full episode streams per week in season than any other Oxygen original series and was the #10 most social cable reality program in October and November. On VOD, “Preachers of L.A.” earned over two million transactions.

“Preachers of L.A.” is produced by L. Plummer Media in association with Relevé Entertainment, with Lemuel Plummer and Holly Carter serving as Executive Producers.

Bishop Noel Jones hopes to reach non-religious viewers with ‘Preachers of LA’

noeljonesGet ready, because the church is headed to reality TV in Oxygen’s new series Preachers of L.A.

The show, which premieres Wednesday, gives viewers a never-before-seen look into the lives of six high-profile pastors from Los Angeles. >From pro skateboarder Pastor Jay Haizlip to Grace Jones’ brother Bishop Noel Jones to Bishop Clarence McClendon, who reaches 250 million homes via international broadcast each week, Preachers of L.A. will explore the human side of these ambitious and very powerful men of faith.

During an recent interview, Bishop Jones responded to those that might find a reality show about pastors to be unsettling.

“There’s absolutely no way to function in any capacity as a religious leader of any kind and not have an understanding of what’s secular and you have to bridge the gap,” Bishop Jones said. “I have to somehow find a way to reach people who aren’t going to walk into my assembly. Does it take the risk of people liking and disliking? Of course, that goes with the territory.”

During a scene in episode 1 of Preachers of L.A. the men of the cloth have an argument while at a gathering at the home of cast member Bishop Ron Gibson. Bishop Jones says he thinks “it’s wonderful” that viewers will get a chance to see preachers outside of the church interacting with each other.

“All pastors don’t keep their tempers. Pastors have conflicts with each other,” Bishop Jones confessed. “Some preachers don’t get along with other preachers. That’s just life. It just shows that all of us have something to overcome. I think it’s wonderful.”

When all is said and done Bishop Jones hopes that Preachers of L.A. brings nonreligious viewers to God.

“I hope this helps to bridge the gap and causes them to feel there is something about this group of men that I could listen, I could here. There’s something they have that I would like to embrace and be a part of.”

Tune into Preachers of L.A. tonight Wednesday Oct. 9th at 10/9c on Oxygen.

What’s your take on Pastors’ Accusations?

First a Pastor Frank Ray is accused of trying to run over his wife with his Bentley, then Pastor Creflo Dollar is arrested for Domestic abuse with his daughter. What’s your take on these actions Pastors are making? Is the church really falling?

A Memphis, Tennessee pastor has been accused of trying to run over his wife with his Bentley. Pastor Frank Ray’s wife, Deborah, filed a report in which she accused Ray of using his Bentley in an intimidating manner to run her down in the driveway.  The New Salem Missionary Baptist Church pastor filed for divorce in March 2012, a few months after a fight broke out between several women inside the sanctuary involving his wife. WMC-TV has the story. A Mid-South minister was accused of trying to run over his wife and now he is sharing his side of the story. With a congregation of more than 5,000 members, New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Frank Ray says the sanctity of marriage is still at the heart of his ministry. “It’s one of the most wonderful things that could ever happen to a person in life,” said Pastor Frank Ray. But his seven year marriage to his latest wife, Deborah, has been on the road to destruction.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar has been arrested after authorities say he slightly hurt his 15-year-old daughter in a fight at his metro Atlanta home. Fayette County Sheriff’s Office investigator Brent Rowan says deputies responded to a call of domestic violence at the home around 1 a.m. Friday.

Rowan says the 50-year-old pastor and his daughter were arguing over whether she could go to a party when Dollar “got physical” with her, leaving her with “superficial injuries.” Dollar faces misdemeanor charges of simple battery and cruelty to children. He bonded out of Fayette County jail Friday morning. Dollar’s lawyer Nikki Bonner said he’s gathering information on the case and had no comment. Dollar is the pastor for World Changers Church International in College Park. A spokeswoman for the church did not immediately return a call seeking comment.