RELIGION

People pay final respects to megachurch pastor Eddie Long

  • Deion Sanders, a former NFL football and professional baseball player, speaks during a service to celebrate the life of Eddie Long, senior pastor at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in Lithonia, Ga. Long, a Georgia megachurch pastor who died Jan. 15 after battling cancer. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)

    Deion Sanders, a former NFL football and professional baseball player, speaks during a service to celebrate the life of Eddie Long, senior pastor at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in Lithonia, Ga. Long, a Georgia megachurch pastor who died Jan. 15 after battling cancer. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mourners fill the sanctuary during during a service to celebrate the life of Eddie Long, senior pastor, at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in Lithonia, Ga. Long, a Georgia megachurch pastor who died Jan. 15 after battling cancer. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

    Mourners fill the sanctuary during during a service to celebrate the life of Eddie Long, senior pastor, at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in Lithonia, Ga. Long, a Georgia megachurch pastor who died Jan. 15 after battling cancer. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mourners fill the sanctuary during during a service to celebrate the life of Eddie Long, senior pastor, at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in Lithonia, Ga. Long, a Georgia megachurch pastor who died Jan. 15 after battling cancer. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

    Mourners fill the sanctuary during during a service to celebrate the life of Eddie Long, senior pastor, at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in Lithonia, Ga. Long, a Georgia megachurch pastor who died Jan. 15 after battling cancer. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)  (The Associated Press)

People were paying their final respects during a service to celebrate the life of Eddie Long, a Georgia megachurch pastor who died Jan. 15 after battling cancer.

Long had been senior pastor at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church outside Atlanta since 1987. In 2010, four young men filed lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct. Long later settled the cases out of court for an undisclosed amount and never admitted any wrongdoing.

The service began at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and was still underway during the afternoon hours at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, where Long had been senior pastor since 1987. He was 63.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://on-ajc.com/2jRsg7C ) that former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes and former NFL player Deion Sanders were among prominent figures who gave tributes during the service.