Eddie Long
Bishop Eddie Long gave a sermon where he addressed sex scandal allegations at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Sept. 26, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images

People are freaking out over Bishop Eddie Long’s drastic weight loss. Photos of the New Birth Missionary Church pastor looking emaciated resurfaced online recently. Long’s health has been under speculation for a while after his assistant said he was dealing with a “health challenge” back in September.

However, the latest images of Long have only perpetuated more rumors with some people on social media alleging that the pastor was in a hospice, suffering from HIV or AIDs and near death after gossip site Bossip posted memes of the bishop Wednesday.

In early December, Long’s assistant, Elder April McLaughlin denied rumors that the bishop was in hospice and that his weight loss was due to his declining health. She told Christian Post that he was “doing well.”

Questions over Long’s health first arose after the megachurch preacher posted a YouTube video of himself appearing almost unrecognizable following his dramatic weight loss. Long, 63, later addressed his health in a statement in September, explaining that he also had taken on veganism, which he said was the biggest reason behind his massive weight loss.

"I am recovering from a health challenge that I trust God to deliver me from," he said. "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. At this time my family and I are requesting that you respect our privacy. I truly appreciate your prayers and support for me, my loved ones and my beloved New Birth Church Family."

Long, who helped the Lithonia, Georgia super-church grow from 300 to 25,000 members after joining in 1987, was once at the center of a heated scandal after four teenaged boys accused the bishop of coercing them into sexual relations in 2011. During trial, the teens said Long, who has been notoriously anti-gay, lured them into sexual encounters through biblical quotes, international trips and luxury gifts.

While appearing on "Steve Harvey" show the same year, Long refused to answer whether or not he had any sexual relationships with his accusers, saying at the time that he was unable to "make any statement about that" because he was "bound by court."