At the beginning of the service, there were ninety-five seats empty with eight of them reserved for the media…The open casket service displayed Long’s body draped in the colors of white, gold and lilac that was almost pageantry like…
A bevy of speakers followed with an array of poignant stories about the pastor. The speakers included ex-governor Roy Barnes, NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders as well as speakers from the faith based community. Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes recalled Long as a friend and confidant. But it was Deion Sanders who had the crowd on their feet delivering his two minutes, resembling almost a sermon.
“This man taught me how to face adversity, this man taught me how to stand in the midst of the storm,” said Sanders said during the service. “This man taught me so much of how to even be a man,” said Sanders.
Rev Neil C. Ellis gave a moving eulogy during the service for Long, who was the senior pastor at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia where the homegoing took place, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Long passed away on Jan. 15 after a long fight with cancer. He was 63 years old.