Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Tribute to Our Friend and Pastor, Jerry Falwell

Lynchburg, VA - It is with sadness and a deep sense of loss we report that Rev. Jerry Falwell passed away this morning while working in his office at Liberty University. News reports cannot begin to explain the tremendous impact this great man of vision had on his family, his community, the Nation and indeed, the world. God abundantly blessed Rev. Falwell with over 50 years of ministry at Thomas Road Baptist Church and 36 years at the helm of Liberty University.
Rev. Falwell loved God and he loved people. His convictions in biblical principles were matched by the depth of his compassion for people. He made you feel like you were the most important person in a room, even though it was filled with dignitaries. He cared for each person and he loved the students at Liberty University.
We have never known a man who had so many important obligations and commitments and yet who always had time for people. As pastor of a mega-church with a myriad of ministries, too many to mention, Chancellor of the world's largest evangelical university, founder of several national parachurch ministries, husband, father and grandfather, he always took time to stop and greet people with a genuine smile, a firm handshake (or sometimes a friendly punch in the rib cage) and a deep voice filled with wisdom and uncanny insight.
Only hours ago we were working on the final agenda for this week's graduation and hooding ceremony for Liberty University School of Law. He was looking forward to addressing the first graduating class of the law school. The School of Law was part of Rev. Falwell's vision when he founded the University in 1971. Launched in August 2004, this Saturday, May 19, 2007, marks another milestone in the history of the university, with the inaugural graduation. While he will not be physically present for this milestone event, he no doubt will be rejoicing in Heaven.
Rev. Falwell's legacy will live on in the millions of people he touched, and his vision will carry on through his family and the graduates of Liberty University. While we are missing a beloved pastor, leader and friend, his family is missing a beloved husband, father and grandfather. Our prayers are with his wife, Macel, his children, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Jonathan Falwell, and Jeannie Falwell Savas, and his grandchildren.