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SBCV clarifies agreement with Liberty University

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–On the day following an agreement between the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., the Associated Press released an erroneous report Nov. 16 that stated: “Southern Baptist churches also will provide financial support to the Lynchburg school.”
“According to our executive board’s action and the story we released through Baptist Press yesterday, that is patently untrue,” said Doyle Chauncey, executive director-treasurer of the SBCV. “Neither the SBC of Virginia nor any of its affiliate churches are obligated to send Liberty University one penny.
“The essential content and nature of our agreement is to nominate two people from our churches to the trustee board of Liberty University,” Chauncey said.
When contacted by the SBCV’s communications coordinator, Norm Miller, the Associated Press office in Richmond, Va., cited the Atlanta-based DeMoss Group as the informational source for the press release, not Baptist Press.
Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the DeMoss public relations firm which handles news and information for Liberty University, said that their release never meant to indicate what the AP story apparently communicated.
Blume said the DeMoss release quoted from a letter written to Jerry Falwell by Chauncey in which Chauncey stated that individual Southern Baptist churches would be encouraged to consider Liberty University in their charitable giving.
“What we want to clarify,” said Chauncey, “is that in no way, subtle or overt, have we said that the SBCV will be sending Liberty University any money.”
In a telephone interview, Falwell reiterated remarks he made to the SBCV executive board Nov. 15, in which Falwell said, “I am not here to offer you money or to ask for it. I am not here for finances but for fellowship. What I am here for is to partner with you in reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ.”
Persons interested in reading the entire BP release on the covenant agreement between the SBCV and Liberty University can do so on-line at www.sbcv.org.

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