The flat denials from members of Long’s church are disgusting. Bishop Long has done little to promote the appearance that he’s innocent, but many in his congregation continue to support him without question.

Some churches have hurt a lot of people with their homophobia and need to answer for it.

Mr. Long presided over the 2006 funeral services of Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The couple’s eldest daughter, Bernice, is a pastor at New Birth. Mr. Long has appeared on recordings with the rap artist Ludacris and presided over the renewal of wedding vows for a couple featured in “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” His flock includes some of the region’s most powerful black entertainers and athletes.Democratic gubernatorial nominee Roy Barnes canceled a Friday fundraiser with Mr. LongDaphene Mayfield, a 10-year church member, said her son Jarrett was a member of the LongFellows program. “They’re opportunists,” she said. “It didn’t happen.”

Ms. Mayfield, a single mother to a daughter and two sons, said New Birth had given structure to her family. “I can raise a son but I can’t tell him how to be a man; I had to give that area up,” said Ms. Mayfield, an analyst for a software company.

“There are areas where boys can relate to men. Bishop Long filled a lot of voids.”

Unfortunate choice of words.