bishop eddie long
Bishop Eddie Long, senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, died Sunday. He was 63. He is pictured above in 2010 be for an Atlanta press conference on sex scandal allegations. John Amis-Pool/Getty Images

Bishop Eddie Long, senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, died Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 63.

The death was announced by the church.

“I am confident through my belief in God that my husband is now resting in a better place. Although, his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he’s at peace," said Vanessa Long, the minister’s wife.

The church said Long suffered from a particularly aggressive form of cancer. Members of the congregation wailed and shrieked at the official announcement.

"Today it is with great sadness I announce that our bishop has transitioned,” Bishop Christopher C. Smith said.

"He's no longer in pain. He's no longer dealing with the complications that he had to deal with."

Long was a controversial figure. He was accused of engaging in sex with four people when they were just teenagers and settled lawsuits stemming from the allegations in 2011.

Reaction to his death blew up Twitter.

But there were those who also will mourn him.

Long skipped services in recent months but did attend on both Christmas and New Year’s Eve. He delivered his final message to congregants as 2017 dawned.

Long disclosed last year he was ill, and an August video showed him looking thin but sounding upbeat.

"I am recovering from a health challenge that I trust God to deliver me from. It is unrelated to the eating for life diet consisting of mostly raw vegetables that I am continuing, as part of a holistic approach to good health," he said in a statement that was posted on Instagram.

On the church’s website, Lewis is described as a “pioneering leader, revolutionary mind changer” known for bold vision and “unapologetic courage.”

He is survived by his wife of 27 years, four children (Eric, Edward, Jared and Taylor) and three grandchildren.

The family asked for privacy.