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With 25,000 members, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is used to crowds. But with the scandal surrounding its leader, Bishop Eddie Long, even the megachurch saw more people than it had in a long time.

Ray Dawson, a member of the church, said, “I just updated my Facebook status that I have never seen this many people here at 8 a.m. service. This is like New Year’s Eve service.”

Traffic was bumper to bumper for both the 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. services to hear Long address allegations that he used his position in the church to have sexual relationships with young men in the congregation. Many longtime members felt the unfamiliar faces were at the church to hear gossip and not the sermon.

“Some are here to hear the truth and some are here to gossip. You have all kinds of spectators because you have people in the world that feed off of negativity,” said church member Tracy Givens.

Some members were in traffic for so long they turned around and went home. “People who probably haven’t been in the church for over 30 years are showing up today,” said Randy McClain. “I’m a first service recipient and we have never encountered this kind of traffic. We missed out this morning on the Word. We are leaving because the service is over, I’m sure. We will have to catch it on TV.”

Some drivers speculated about what they expected to hear when and if they made it inside the church

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article courtesy of BetNews.com

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