People pay final respects to megachurch pastor Eddie Long

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 ( ) that former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes and former NFL player Deion Sanders were among prominent figures who gave tributes during the service.