More Bishop Long Chicanery? Long Asks Ephren Taylor to Return Investment Money to Beleaguered Parishioners, But May Have “Forgotten” That He Took a Cut From Taylor’s Profits
Possibly too encouraged by his reception last week at an Atlanta awards benefit, Bishop Long went on You Tube earlier this week (here) to publicly implore Ephren Taylor, former CEO of City Capital Corp., to return vast sums of money supposedly owed to his parishioners at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. (It’s interesting that this You Tube video of Long’s does not allow for the obligatory comments or responses.) But the fly-by-night financial guru will none of it. Taylor says that Long had already received a substantial commission from City Capital Corp. for those parishioners who attended his investment seminars, were sold his videos, and who invested in City Capital.
What Taylor left unsaid is that Long should use his own money to repay his disaffected flock, if they’re not satisfied with the returns. From RollingOut.com:
The mega-church pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta said on YouTube that he facilitated a financial seminar at the Lithonia, Ga.-based church about a year ago. It was designed to help empower members and enable them to build a better quality of life.
Many members appropriated a considerable amount of their savings to invest in City Capital Corp. as a result of the seminars, but their retirement accounts have imploded, leaving them in dire financial straits. And the CEO, Ephren Taylor, is nowhere to be found.
According to a press release about the YouTube video obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Long said several members alerted him “about a troubling investment that could eclipse a million dollars.” The release said that Long decided to make a public appeal to help members resolve their “dispute with City Capital Corp. and its CEO Ephren Taylor.”
Uhuh. A “public appeal” that’s designed to make him look good, make him look like he truly “cares” about his flock. Riiight. Here’s Taylor’s statement that was given to the Preacher Bureau of Investigations:
ATLANTA, GA (EnviGlobal.com) – Business Accelerator and entrepreneur, Ephren W. Taylor releases the following statement regarding the recent Youtube.com video appeal posted by New Birth Missionary Baptist Church pastor, Bishop Eddie L. Long:
“Due to many inaccuracies, and based upon what I view as a recent character assassination and an attempt to paint a picture of an inability, on my part, to take responsibility for the actions of my former company, City Capital Corporation, I am extending facts relative to the aftermath of the Wealth Tour Live at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
I visited with Bishop Eddie L. Long in late 2009 prior to bringing my Wealth Tour Live to New Birth, with hopes of inspiring and empowering the congregation in business through seminars and making my book, Creating Success from the Inside Out, available to all attendees. The church received a percentage of product sales, and stated their intent to sell video from the presentations. I also operated on Bishop Long’s behalf to secure certain media opportunities for him. Members of City Capital Corporation were in attendance, and subsequently, members of the church elected to partner with the company on community project opportunities across the country that aid in creating jobs and stimulate local community-based projects. Even after my departure last year as CEO of City Capital Corporation, there has been consistent communication between myself and Elder Maurice Waddell, Chief Operating Officer at New Birth, of which there is ample tracked phone and email correspondence.
City Capital’s legal team has connected via phone and email with members of New Birth, per the list sent from the church. Paralegals did confirm that all clients have a settlement package, and I personally have reviewed an updated report on which clients have been contacted, and when they were contacted. The legal team has been working since last year with individuals to legally and privately resolve, refund, and restructure any potential issues. To protect the integrity of the process, resolutions are confidential.
A conference call was held with all New Birth members as recently as this month with attorneys hosting the call on behalf of City Capital, in which Elder Maurice Waddell joined. As mentioned, I transitioned from serving as CEO of City Capital Corporation in 2010, and am operating completely independent of the company ever since.
However, I am still in good faith honoring my commitment to assist in efforts ensuring that this matter comes to a swift and positive conclusion for all parties.”
-Ephren W. Taylor
This is the second instance of financial misconduct to crop up since the four young men filed their lawsuit late last year accusing Bishop Long of molestation and harassment. The first, involving Matrix Capital, Fred Lee, and Bishop Gary Hawkins, another megachurch pastor, is said to have bilked hundreds of New Birth parishioners out of their money, and as a result, caused the foreclosures of their homes. The dealings of Hawkins, Long, Lee, and Matrix are currently being investigated not only by the FBI but the Secret Service. It’s also widely believed–but not yet confirmed–that Long may have received a cut from Matrix as well for bringing company representatives to the church.
This video is a massive fail.
Bishop Long is dealing in an alternate universe.