Gay christian author E. Lynn Harris dead at 54

Black Voices Newswire is reporting that E. Lynn Harris is dead at 54 of undisclosed causes. Harris was out promoting his latest book.

A Random House executive has confirmed to The BV Newswire that best-selling author E. Lynn Harris has died.Harris was 53. He was currently on a book tour of the West Coast promoting his 11th novel ‘Basketball Jones,’ which involved an NBA player and his gay lover.According to, the celebrated author’s personal assistant confirmed that his health had declined but would not provide any details as to what caused his death.

harrisHarris became known for writing books glorifying bisexuality and homosexuality and had a significant following among black women. One of his  books “I say a little prayer” (Doubleday 2006) was a cloaked  expose of the black church. It told the story of a “homophobic bishop” who pastored an Atlanta megachurch and a star member who is torn between his gay church friends and singing at the bishops revival which his gay friends intend to boycott.

Harris said the inspiration for the book was what he “saw happening in the black church. The homophobia. The black gay and lesbian people not having a place to go and get their spiritual needs fulfilled.”

Harris and people like him didnt understand that the church is not a place to come and get your needs met. Especially when your “needs” are incongruent with God’s will for your life. Unwilling to repent of their sexual sin, Harris instead wanted to create the type of church which allows homosexual sin to be accepted and celebrated.

Update 1634 pm

The spin is on. Ebony-Jet hints that Harris may have worked himself to death. h/t:CA

Why black women found Harris’ bisexual books intriguing


23 thoughts on “Gay christian author E. Lynn Harris dead at 54

  1. Yahoo news is reporting that he died at 54 of a heart attack in Arkansas. One of my bf FB friends posted the link.

    I guess I have lived under a rock. I have no idea who this man is. Why would any homosexual male author have a significant following of bw? I ask this sincerely.

  2. Pamela, I’ve never heard of him-so I’m one black woman who didn’t follow him. Thank you Bro Foster for stating that
    “the church is not a place to come and get your needs met. Especially when your “needs” are incongruent with God’s will for your life”.
    God is building His kingdom, not mine. And if I don’t or won’t line up with His will, I will have some serious problems~

  3. Pam, although Harris considered himself mainstream he used the gay angle to sell his books. He said this in Mar this year.

    ”I still continue to write about [the ‘down-low’ phenomenon] because I see a whole new generation of these young men…. I found out from reading the blogs that a lot of black gay men had abandoned me three or four books ago because they thought I was writing for women, and that — you know, not necessarily showing them in the best light in that my characters are good-looking and wealthy, and a lot of their lives are not like that…. Am I too far removed from the black gay community to understand what’s going on? Do I have more chances at meeting someone like [the book’s rich, popular athlete, ] Dre than the average gay man? … The majority of my friends, the majority of the people that I’m close to are heterosexual. And it doesn’t say — it’s not like ‘passing’ or anything like that. It’s just, that’s who I feel comfortable with at this point of my life…. The mere fact that I’m so mainstream has seemed to hurt my popularity among the people whom I started writing these books for.”

    Maybe black women felt like he was telling them something about bisexual/gay black men to “help” them. So they read his books.

  4. I was quite shocked, and saddedned to hear of, yet, another young person dying of heart disease. We really have to check ourselves as to how we monitor our health! I’m quite confused, however. Never knowing E. Lynn Harris to be Christian, why is this entitled, “Gay Christian Author…”? None of his writing, to my knowledge, glorify God, of His Kingdom. Am I right?

  5. Yes, Ceedee, the title is an interesting non posed, perhaps even contradicting nonquestion you seem to have picked up on. It isn’t his writing that is being referred to in the title.

    One person said he was a gay christian:

    “E. Lynn Harris came to speak at my college, Ball State University, and he was WONDERFUL! A great, gay Christian man, who loves himself for who he is. He is an example that you can be gay AND Christian at the same time without going through all the foolish to try to fit in the stereotypical “Christian” image.”

  6. All I need to know as a bw is that if I am around a gay/bisexual man of any hue I need to leave him alone and find men that exclusively like women. I don’t need books to figure this out. That is amazing to me. Oh well. Thanks so much for the info.

  7. As co-founder of an African-American retail site that has sold books online for 11 years, including books by E. Lynn Harris, I will say that he has a large following among Black women. We have a book club in our physical store and the majority of our readers do not want to read books about the gay lifestyle, but some do. I have personally read two of Harris’ books: His memoir, “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,” because I wanted to know what led him into the homosexual lifestyle. His book confirmed my suspicions that he was molested as an adolescent, which seems to be a pattern among many in the gay community. Our book club read one of his recent books, “Just Too Good to be True,” which was one of his only books that did not have a gay theme.

    Harris was a very good writer and his books have been top sellers. When I asked the women who were his fans why they read his books, they said it gave them insight into the down-low phenomenon and let them know some of what was going on in our society. IMO, it made most of them paranoid, believing that a large segment of the Black male population was indeed down-low — pretending to be heterosexual and leading a double life.

    I did not read these books because I know that what goes into our minds will eventually get into our spirits. I do not read sexually explicit fiction of any kind — it’s just too much info. As a very happily married woman, I would much rather spend intimate time with my husband than read about fictitious sexual escapades.

    I have not personally met Mr. Harris, but heard from all who did that he was a very down-to-earth, kind, humble individual, who didn’t seem to let his success go to his head. With so much arrogance among many successful authors, that was indeed refreshing to hear. I didn’t agree with his lifestyle, but he will be missed within the literary community. His books were top sellers and the two books I read of his were very well written; he had an obvious gift for writing.

  8. I read everybody’s opinion and I respect all of them in honesty. I can truly say that this man, E. Lynn Harris, was a prolific writer, who books has touched many including myself. Harris is one my favorite authors who I wanted the opportunity to meet and network with. The chance of meeting him, will never happen. For that, I am deeply saddened and shocked at his death. I know WE as Christians can be judgmental, so I leave all the judging to the Father. The media is all screwed up and we are just waiting to see what the REAL truth is about his death and what caused it. May Harris rest in peace and he will be forever missed and remembered by those he did touch in a unique way.

  9. All I can say is that I pray that he repented of his actions and received the Truth, which is Christ. I’m sorry to hear that a fellow human has passed from this life to eternity, but the last book I read from him, he was basically telling the church that it was wrong concerning homosexuality. With that, I can’t be sad cuz he made a conscious effort to mislead others, all the while himself being mislead.

  10. I dont think the question is whether or not Harris was a accomplished writer. That’s clear. What’s tragic –again– is that people like him use his [God given] gift against the Giver’s will.

    What’s worth your soul? 10 books on the NYT bestseller list?

    Harris’ influence did nothing but lead more men into a hellish rebellion against God and lead women into a paranoia about black men.

    That’s NOT commendable.

    Let’s keep it in perspective. ONLY what you do for Christ will last or is not that applicable anymore?

  11. gcmwatch, I’m going to have to agree with you on that; having a gift is not going to compensate for your lack of conformity to God’s will

    …I read the article saying that he died in the middle of converting some of his books (which glorified the homosexual black lifestyle) into movies…I hate to say it, but I think it was a good thing he never got a chance to make any movies that only would lead more people off God’s path or any movies normalizing this lifestyle…

    i think it’s very saddening–he wrote articles in Essence a lot; and I think he was on Oprah once…actually when I heard he died yesterday, I thought it was of AIDS…I hope that is not the case

    my spiritual mother prophesied five years ago at a revival; that there would be many deaths in Hollywood, because God is trying to get people’s attention…everyday there is something new

  12. On a similar, related topic, I have read several articles about the life span of gay men being about 20 years shorter than for the average heterosexual male. This concept immediately came to mind when I heard about E. Lynn Harris’ death. Pastor Foster, do you have any insights regarding this statistic? Of course, it is always debunked by gay activists. But anecdotally, how many elder gay men do any of us know about? I cannot think of any at all. The elderly ones may still be in the closet, but I am interested in knowing more about this. I do believe that homosexuality, as with other sins, has a tendency to shorten one’s life for a variety of reasons. Any feedback would be appreciated.

  13. Gwen,

    Go to the link below:

    Of course, many indulging in this wicked lifestyle even have problems with these statistics.

    One thing that sticks out – at least to me – is that gays are demanding civil rights in some way related to civil rights for African American. Yet, statistics show (at least economically) that the average household income for “gays” runs at around
    $55,430. Yet for Blacks, the total is around $ 12,166. This is a huge disparity. Blacks sought civil rights so to better themselves economically; Gays, on the other hand, seek their civil rights out of the pride of their own flesh. They will do whatever to satisfy their lust that will ultimately end in destruction.

  14. E. Lynn Harris is dead and he is either in Hell awaiting judgment or he is with Jesus in heaven. I doubt the latter because of his
    notorious lifestyle and his unabashed promotion of gay as being OK with Christianity. Wrong! The two do not walk together and if
    Harris believed that (his books reflected a lifestyle and belief system that Jesus Christ would deny), he is in eternal torment even as we speak.
    Judgmental? The Word of God has already judged him and he was found wanting. Let’s not be coy. The Word of God clearly states
    what is required to be in right relationship with God…and it is not practicing or condoning or urging a gay lifestyle.
    Harris knew better but he choose his way instead of the way God said was found only in Jesus Christ…so why is anyone who professes the Christian faith so alarmed at his death and eternal torment?
    It does not matter from what he died of….he died! Did he at the last moment have a revelation of Jesus as the Son of God? Why would he? He knew that before he died and rejected God’s plan of salvation…so, guess what? He eventually died and has went on to his eternal reward…eternal separation from the presence of God and eternalpunishment.
    For those who are gay and glad and proud of it, unless you repent you also will face the same eternal judgement as Harris.
    Repent and believe the Gospel!

  15. Worked himself to death?! What a lie? People…understand that God gives us each breath that we take and when He decides that your life’s mission is accomplished or that you are not going to respond to the gospel…He can take you out in a moment’s notice.
    Why? He is sovereign and need not answer to anyone.
    Harris openly touted the gay lifestyle and he pushed his fist in God’s face with all of his demeaning books and God gave him grace and mercy to live so that he may come to his senses…but he did not and so God said…thou fool, this night, your soul is required of thee….
    Enuff said. If you have a beef with that, take it up with God.
    As for COGIC and their cover ups of homosexuality and sexual abuse…judgement will begin at the house of God and COGIC..unless they repent will face the wrath of God. God is not deceived and his Word will not continually be mocked and trampled upon by those professing Christ.
    He will have a clean Bride when He returns.
    Repent and believe the Gospel!

  16. Pastor Foster you summed it up in a nutshell “Harris’ influence did nothing but lead more men into a hellish rebellion against God and lead women into a paranoia about black men”

    Lafe, you are right bottomline “repent and believe the gospel” applies to everyone in every situation….

  17. Amen, Lafe!! This also brings to mind 1Samuel 15:23 “For rebellion is as witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he also has rejected you…”

  18. Ditto that Rob! Gay is not the new black. Last time I checked, a leopard could not change his spots. A sin-sick soul on the other hand can be renewed, revived, and re-born.

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