Lack of accountability in independent mega-churches

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Some churches like Ga. pastor’s thin on safeguards

The Long case demonstrates how vulnerable the country’s independent churches still are to being damaged by the misbehavior — sexual, financial or otherwise — of leaders whose considerable influence often comes with temptation and little accountability.

An Absence of Accountability

Many of these independent mega-church pastors are de facto dictators, totally without accountability structures. The congregations lack the discipline of a denomination, and the pastors or leaders often lack any accountability at all.

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How Long "Took Over"

http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/09/28/long.new.birth/ Bishop Long's 'anointed' path to power at New Birth

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When Long arrived at New Birth, he had to consult with a deacon and trustee board. Long wrote in his book, "Taking Over," that New Birth's deacon board was "gripping the purse strings" of the church, and "telling the man of God when to jump and how high."

After the church grew, [color=red ]Long told the congregation that he received a revelation from God that New Birth's governing structure was "ungodly,"[/color ] he recounted in "Taking Over."

Long said the board relinquished its authority over him with his congregation's approval.

"That was the day I became pastor," Long wrote in "Taking Over." "Up until that time, I was the hired preacher."

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Fourth lawsuit filed (CNN)