Frank Ski discusses departing New Birth, Massell on MARTA and Alton Brown hoovers up some hummus

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V-103 FM morning man Frank Ski disclosed this week that he is no longer a member of Bishop Eddie Long‘s New Birth Missionary Church and hasn’t attended services there since the details of Long’s sex scandal first emerged. “I attend a different church now,” Ski told Atlanta magazine during an interview at his new Frank Ski’s Restaurant & Lounge  at 2110 Peachtree Road.  “I haven’t been [back to New Birth] since all of this has been going on. It’s been a while now. I think I’ve been waiting for things to pan out and see where they go.” Ski said he and his family now attend services at Mount Bethel and at Mount Paran Church. “I like visiting different churches,” Ski said. “We go to Mount Bethel and I love Mount Paran a lot too. There are so many different cultures of people represented there.”
 
A year ago this month, Ski made global headlines after he went on air and defended Long when he was first accused of having sex with former New Birth members Anthony Flagg, 21, and Maurice Robinson, 20. “As a member of New Birth, I have accepted Bishop Long as my spiritual leader,” Ski told listeners in September of 2010. “I have to remain and stay in faith throughout this. As a close friend, I am loyal no matter where this goes.” Eventually, two other young men, Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande joined the civil lawsuit against Long. This summer, Fox 5  I-Team reporter Dale Russell broke the story that Long had a fifth accuser Centino Kemp. Long settled the case with the five men for undisclosed sums of money. Three of the men are now writing books.
 
“If I had to do it over, I probably wouldn’t have said anything,” Ski reflected. “A lot of my comments were taken out of context because they were spoken early on and there was a lot of emotion behind them. Sometimes when people are emotional, they hear one thing. I realized I should have waited when I discovered that I was the only person who was saying anything. That was the hard part. I had friends in Africa who saw the [news] clips. It went global and I was the only person out there [supporting Long]. That was disappointing.” Ski’s latest business venture opens to the public for dinner on Monday. Coming Thursday: Check out Atlanta magazine’s first look at Frank Ski’s Restaurant & Lounge in our Covered Dish blog.
 
WE HEAR THAT. . .
Atlanta singer-songwriter Ben Deignan, who is set to play an AIDS Walk Atlanta benefit tonight with his band at Tavern 99 in Buckhead, has quietly inked a recording deal. Deignan spent his summer vacation writing in London’s famed Kensaltown Studios and is now working with Atlanta’s Organized Noize (Outkast, TLC, Big Boi) and Grammy-winning songwriter Cassius D. Kalb (Bruno Mars, Lupe Fiasco) on new material. Doors open at 7 p.m. tonight at Tavern 99, 128 E. Andrews Drive, NW.
 
SPOTTED!
Food Network star and author Alton Brown having dinner and praising the butterbean “hummus” with tapenade and pita at the new Chicken and the Egg restaurant in Marietta.
 
QUOTE  UNQUOTE
“Do you know how I got it passed? I went up in a helicopter with a bullhorn over the expressway and said, ‘Do you want to get out of this mess? Vote YES!’ We’re in the Bible belt. They thought God was talking to them.” — Former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell, recounting how he energized the vote for the one-penny sales tax needed to initiate MARTA in 1971, at Atlanta magazine’s historic  mayoral round table featuring Massell, Andrew Young, Bill Campbell and Kasim Reed Monday night at the Atlanta History Center.

“BETWEEN THE LINES” GOES PUBLIC
Former Atlanta first lady Valerie Jackson, host of WABE-FM’s popular “Between the Lines” author interview program, is offering a rare opportunity for readers to be part of the experience. This Thursday night at 7, as part of the Georgian Terrace’s year-long centennial celebration, Jackson brings her show to the historic Midtown hotel’s ballroom to tape a “BTL” edition with Joseph Gatins, the author of the fascinating “We Were Dancing on a Volcano: Bloodlines and Fault Lines of a Star-Crossed Atlanta Family 1849-1989.” Gatins’ family built and opened the Georgian Terrace in 1911. Admission is free but limited to 250 attendees. Reservations can be made by emailing Chelsea Deedy at chelsea@newaboa.com.

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