There have been layoffs and salary cuts recently at the suburban Atlanta megachurch led by Bishop Eddie Long (pictured), who is the subject of lawsuits by four young men who say he coerced them into sexual activity, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The New Birth Missionary Baptist Church has laid off two full-time employees and reduced salaries by 10%, although it wasn't clear if Long's salary was affected. Attendance has declined in recent weeks, a phenomenon that some observers connect to the accusations against Long.
A New Birth spokesman, however, attributed the cuts to the recession. "Like numerous other churches and charitable organizations across Georgia and the rest of the country, New Birth and its faith community have been impacted by the nationwide downturn in the economy," said a statement issued by the church.
The church has also canceled its Easter service at the Georgia Dome, which usually attracted thousands of worshippers. Read more here.
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