Jerry Falwell (1933-2007)
We at SBF want express our condolences to the Falwell family, Thomas Road Baptist Church, and Liberty University in the passing of Dr. Jerry Falwell. Though we have strongly disagreed on certain theological points, we have an even stronger confidence that our brother is beholding the face of our Savior. May God grant comforting grace and strength to those grieving and celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Falwell.
What others are saying . . .
Television Evangelist Falwell Dies at 73 (Associated Press)
Dr. Albert Mohler in The Washington Post The Legacy of Dr. Jerry Falwell
Billy Graham Jerry Falwell: Man of God
Tom Ascol Jerry Falwell, 1933-2007
Tim Challies Jerry Falwell (1933-2007)
Jason Robertson Falwell: He Lived What He Preached
Ben Cole Farewell Falwell
David Wayne On the Death of Jerry Falwell
Baptist Press Jerry Falwell Dead at 73
Rev. Jerry Falwell Passes Away (Blogger News Network)
World Mag’s Gay Group to Stage Falwell Anti-Memorial
UPDATE: centuri0n A Thought to Think
About Jerry Fallwell (from his website):
At the age of 22, having just graduated from college in June of 1956, Jerry Falwell returned to his hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia and started Thomas Road Baptist Church with 35 members. The offering that first Sunday totaled $135. Falwell often says about the first collection, “we thought we had conquered the world”. Today Thomas Road Church has 24,000 members and the total annual revenues of all the Jerry Falwell ministries total over $200 million.
Within weeks of founding his new church in 1956, Falwell began the Old-Time Gospel Hour, a daily local radio ministry and a weekly local television ministry. Nearly five decades later, this Old-Time Gospel Hour is now seen and heard in every American home and on every continent except Antarctica. Through the years, over three million persons have communicated to the Falwell ministries that they received Christ as Lord and Savior as a result of this radio and television ministry.
In 1967, Falwell implemented his vision to build a Christian educational system for evangelical youth. He began with the creation of Lynchburg Christian Academy, a Christ-centered, academically excellent, fully accredited Christian day school providing kindergarten, elementary and high school. In 1971, Liberty University was founded. Today, over 21,500 students from 50 states and 80 nations attend this accredited, liberal arts Christian university. Falwell’s dream has become a reality. A pre-school child can now enter the school system at age 3, and 20 or more years later, leave the same campus with a Ph.D., without ever sitting in a classroom where the teacher was not a committed follower of Jesus Christ.
Falwell is also publisher of the National Liberty Journal, a monthly newspaper which is read by over 200,000 pastors and Christian workers, and the Falwell Confidential, a weekly e-mail newsletter to over 500,000 pastors and Christian activists.
In June 1979, Falwell organized the Moral Majority, a conservative political lobbying movement which the press soon dubbed the “Religious Right.” During the first two years of its existence, the Moral Majority attracted over 100,000 pastors, priests, and rabbis and nearly seven million religious conservatives who mobilized as a pro-life, pro-family, pro-Israel, and pro-strong national defense lobbying organization. The Moral Majority chose California Governor Ronald Reagan as “their candidate” for President in 1980, registered millions of new voters, and set about to inform and activate a sleeping giant – 80 million Americans committed to faith, family, and Judeo-Christian values.
With the impetus of the newly organized Moral Majority, millions of people of faith voted for the first time in 1980 and helped elect Ronald Reagan and many conservative congressmen and senators. Since 1979, about 30% of the American electorate has been identified by media polls as the “Religious Right”. Most recent major media surveys have acknowledged that these “faith and values” voters re-elected George W. Bush in November 2004.
Though perhaps better known outside Lynchburg for political activism, Jerry Falwell’s personal schedule confirms his passion for being a pastor and a Christian educator. He often states that his heartbeat is for training young people for every walk of life.
Falwell and his wife of 49 years, Macel, have three grown children and eight grandchildren.