remembering Jerry Falwell

As most have heard, Jerry Falwell has gone to glory… I shook his hand twice: once when I received my B.S. from Liberty University and then when I received my M.A.R. from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, both times, he said “Congratulations buddy.” He had no idea who I was, but thanks to his vision, I learned how to learn.

I heard about his death as I was driving from Greenberry’s back to school just before 2, when my daughter called me to let me know, she graduates with her B.A. from Liberty tomorrow, she had heard on campus and called me. About an hour later I heard it on the radio. Then I got to school and a colleague sent an email around (this person, like many, didn’t like Jerry because of something he had done, she made some comment in the email which announced the death, I was a little put off by the crack but let it go, until now). That night I scanned the beginning of the news shows, they all led with the death of the “controversial figure.” I watched the networks (I don’t have cable) and there seemed to be a generally civil discussion of Jerry’s words and his accomplishments.

Of course, the Moral Majority was discussed, it seemed that Falwell was given the credit for the election of Reagan and both Bushes and the development of the Christian right as the most powerful single political force in America today. But as I listened to Tony Campolo on The News Hour, he really hit a kind note. Campolo, no Falwell Fundamentalist, stated that while Jerry might disagree and debate you on TV with force, he did so with kindness. He was gracious, he was a gentleman. Yesterday a friend told me that Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton had made similar comments.

On the News Hour, Campolo said these things

“My wife, who, unlike myself, is a strong advocate for gay marriage, once had a meeting with him. And she said, “I came away feeling that this man was a gentleman, and he spoke with kindness and with civility.” And, off camera, he was as gracious a man as you could possibly imagine. And I have found him to be the same.

We differed politically, not theologically very much, but politically. And we will stand in awe of his impact in history. Of course, his greatest impact is not his politics. His greatest legacy is going to be Liberty University, where thousands of people will be raised up to support the things that he believed in.” (

I learned to learn at Liberty. I was glad that one of our girls went to Liberty. I have met some amazing servants of God who trained at Liberty. I think Campolo and the other guy on TV got it right, Jerry’s greatest accomplishment was founding Liberty.

But now, Jerry is so enthralled in the glory of God, that he cares no longer of these things, now he sees the Maker, the Saviour, face to face, not darkly like we do… Thanks be to God for Jerry. I’ll see you there Jerry.


Filed under culture

2 responses to “remembering Jerry Falwell

  1. jokfoley

    Dr. Falwell was a gentleman..I agree with a whole heart. Its sad that people take one comment and distort their view of someone sooo intensly. Dr. Falwell was my pastor and my Chancellor and to see him interact at church was the most amazing thing.. he cares deeply, he wants to see people grow especially young people..the last time i saw dr. falwell was on Main street of our church where he had taken time out of his busy schedule to enjoy a birthday party for a 6 year old boy.. just close friends and family. he was a man of grace and I can’t wait to stand beside him in Heaven..

  2. Anonymous

    So I’ve only been here at LU for about two weeks now but I’ve never in my whole life been more blessed in seeing a school that is comitted to the Lord. I am shocked at how this university has responded to Jerry’s death with hope and persistence in doing the Lord’s will. And everywhere I turn, the teachers and students who knew Jerry are always talking about him.I’ve learned so much about this great man. But what makes such a big impression on me is how this college is so blessed by God. It’s obvious to me how God has worked through the life of Dr. Falwell to shape the way this university works, the way the students desire to evangelize to the local community and to the world. All I can really say is “wow!”I’ve talked to so many people who’ve had time to hang out with Jerry, and I’ve only heard of how wonderful of a man he was and how big his vision for this university was. It’s unbelievable that God has placed me here of all universities and colleges.I’m so grateful to be a part of this university where God is put before anything else- God first. I do believe this is where I will be stretched to develop the skills I have and skills that I will later attain. This is where He’ll shape me;there’s no doubt in my mind. What a true blessing it is to come here.I wish only all the people I knew could experience this flow of the Holy Spirit on this campus and in the people, as it too goes with them as they go out to reach the world and win it over for Christ.I didn’t know Dr. Falwell, but I do know he had a good taste in food, because he ate at the table next to me one day here at the Chick-fil-a in Lynchburg. I’m already seeing things happen in my life since I’ve been preparing to come to LU and since I’ve been here.My deepest thanks go out to God for using a man such as Jerry to have a vision to establish this school.I’ve made many friends already and I must say that their love for the Lord astounds me! God is so good to us! Opportunities are everywhere and I am excited!I cannot comprehend it!I never would have guessed that LU had such a spirit of the Lord working in it and through it!

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