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The AJC is reporting that the pastor of a small church in Spartanburg, South Carolina is planning a rally at the state Capitol in Atlanta at the end of the month to demand the resignation of Bishop Eddie Long.

Bishop Prophet H. Walker of True Light Pentecost Church in Spartanburg called Long a “bad influence on the Christian church and future generations.”

Long, pastor of the 25,ooo-member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, has been accused in civil lawsuits filed by four young men of coercing them into having sex with him.

“He has no right to assume the office of pastor of any Christian church,” Walker said. “A pastor should be above reproach.”

Long has called the allegations false and recently vowed he would not be “pulled into a street fight.”

“When this first came out, I wouldn’t follow it,” Walker said. But as the number of lawsuits grew, he said he decided to speak out.

A spokesman for Long could not be reached for comment.

However, Kamelya Hinson, who has attended New Birth for nearly 15 years, said she wants Walker to know that any decision regarding Long’s future is “our call, not yours.”

In an e-mail to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hinson said Long ” is not a politician, he is a pastor. He owes no explanation to anyone other than his wife, kids and his church family (yes, his spiritual sons and daughters in Christ). I realize there are many people around the world who watch him on television and read his books, but if you are not a member of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church you have no right to call for him to step down.”

Walker said his church is against homosexuality.

Long has been an outspoken critic of same-sex marriage and homosexuality. In 2004, he led a march supporting a constitutional amendment opposing same-sex marriages.

Walker said the rally will be held to “support the integrity and character of the Christian faith.”

He declined to say how many people are in his congregation or how many he expects at the march.

An elder at True Light Pentecost Church said he expects up to 100 people from the church to travel to the rally and that others are being invited.

Georgia Building Authority said the Capitol grounds have not been reserved for the rally. Walker said it would be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 31.


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