Bishop Terrell Murphy Leaves New Birth Charlotte - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Bishop Terrell Murphy Leaves New Birth Charlotte

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Bishop Terrell Murphy has been leader of New Birth Charlotte in Huntersville for about 10 years.  Controversial leader Bishop Eddie Long handpicked Murphy to lead that church.

Murphy believes now is the time for him to leave New Birth Charlotte and start his own church. It will be called Life Center International.  The first service begins August 4 at Ardrey Kell High School.

Murphy claims his decision had nothing to do with Long's troubles.

"That's really not the case," Murphy said. "The time the shift would have been during it - because there was a lot I encountered. There was a lot that came against me and towards me."

The pastor says he was shocked to hear the sexual scandal involving Bishop Long.

"Was amazed as everyone else was," Murphy said. "And immediately just began to pray and be very concerned on how I can help out in the situation."

Murphy said he doesn't believe the accusations against Long.

"There's so much that goes on with people with great acclaim," Murphy said. "And status. always people taking shots at them."

Murphy stood by Long and still believes in him.  He says by him not abandoning Long during the bad times, God is rewarding him by calling him to start a ministry.

"I believe this is rewarding me," the pastor said. "Increasing me and moving me into something new and He is saying well done thy good and faithful servant."

Murphy says his church will be focused on building people more so that building a big church.

"My main objective," Murphy said. "Is the heart, the mind and spirits of people. Their souls being renewed."

Despite the fact Murphy is splitting from Long, he still wants Long to part of his ministry.  He says one day Long could be invited to speak to his members.

"There is a lot that is in him that the body of Christ needs to glean from," Murphy said. "And if we are in a place we believe he has a key to help us do what we are doing - then we'll do it."

Murphy said Long tried to convince him to stay but that didn't work.  This was Long's response when Murphy told him about his departure.

"There is going to be mourning," Murphy said. "There's going to be a challenge in all of it - trying to seek understanding and get understanding, but at the end of the day - he said if this is in your heart to do - then I'll support it."

The church leader claims this is a new chapter for him, but he says he is ready for it and believes his faith will get him through.

"I'm 51 years old," Murphy said. "And I am making the greatest leap of faith than I have in my life."

Bishop Long issued this statement regarding Murphy's decision.

"I believe that he is God's man for this divine moment and this great assignment." Long wrote. "Please join me in supporting my son Bishop Terrell Murphy and prayerfully asking for God's covering over him as he enters this new season."

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