WASHINGTON (BP)–A spiritual giant has fallen, and when giants fall, the impact shakes the ground of people near and afar. The news of Dr. Jerry Falwell’s death came as a surprise to me, as it did to everyone else. But his homegoing may have shaken my ground a little more than others. Few people — […]
LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP)--"Jerry Falwell hated gay people." "Jerry Falwell blamed abortions on promiscuous women." "Jerry Falwell wanted to lock up all the drug addicts in prison." In the past week, I have heard more misinformation, deceptive reporting, and downright bias concerning Dr. Jerry Falwell than I could imagine.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP)--Jerry Falwell, who impacted American culture with his larger-than-life persona, impacted his local culture in death. Lynchburg's small, metropolitan airport accommodated a swarm of private jets, public schools closed early and hundreds of police and other city personnel directed traffic and managed the 10,000-plus people who thronged to the facilities of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University for Falwell's May 22 memorial service. More than 33,000 people viewed Falwell's body as it lay in repose the weekend before his funeral. People began gathering outside the church as early as 3:30 a.m. for the 1 p.m. service, which drew preachers, politicians and a panoply of evangelical figures from across the country. When the church's auditorium was full, thousands more were directed to overflow seating at the school's football stadium and basketball arena, where the service was viewed via closed-circuit television. Evangelical leaders eulogized him as "friend."
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)--The home-going of my friend Jerry Falwell, a great man of God, has given me occasion to reflect on the Jerry Falwell I knew. Most knew him as the man who was on "Larry King Live" or "Hannity and Colmes," speaking for Christ and morality.
GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP)--Ronald Reagan owes the late Francis Schaeffer a posthumous thank-you, which he may have already delivered. Heaven only knows. Others owe Schaeffer a debt of gratitude, too, including George W. Bush and hundreds of others elected to public office in the last three decades because of religious conservative voters.
LYNCHBURG, Va., (BP)--Thousands thronged Lynchburg, Va., and the facilities of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University for the May 22 memorial service of Jerry Falwell. The capacity crowd heard a statement from President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush as read by Tim Goeglein, special assistant to the president. The statement offered the Bushes' sympathies and said that Falwell was a man who "cherished faith, family and freedom." The Bushes wrote that one of Falwell's "lasting contributions was the establishment of Liberty University, where he taught young people to remain true to their convictions, and to rely upon God's Word throughout each stage of their lives."
LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP)--Jerry Vines, introduced as Jerry Falwell's closest friend in the ministry, exhorted graduates of Liberty University to "Come before winter," to recognize life's brevity, seize life's opportunity and deal with life's necessity.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP)--Jerry Falwell's funeral will be Tuesday, May 22, at 1 p.m. at Thomas Road Baptist Church, the congregation he founded in Lynchburg, Va., officials announced May 15.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP)--Jerry Falwell, a founder of the modern Christian conservative movement who started one of America's largest churches and launched one of its largest Christian universities, died May 15. He was 73. Falwell, who had a history of heart problems, was found unconscious in his office and without a pulse, and subsequent efforts to revive him failed. He was pronounced dead at 12:40 p.m. E.T. Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church grew from 35 members in 1956 to more than 24,000, and the school he founded, Liberty University, saw its enrollment expand from virtually nothing in 1971 to more than 21,000. Both are located in Lynchburg, Va. Thomas Road was independent for its first 40 years before becoming Southern Baptist in 1996.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Leaders of several Southern Baptist entities voiced their appreciation for Jerry Falwell in the hours following his death May 15. Their comments follow.