a visionary gone home
Many can say what they want but Jerry Falwell was a giant in the faith. He was a man who lived out of his vision for the world. I had the privilege of meeting him and seeing him several times on Liberty’s campus. Regardless of whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, Evangelical, Presbyterian or Charasmatic you have to respect the fruit of this man’s life. He was bold, honest, obedient, consistent and a committed family man. He was loved and hated by many yet his legacy reflects the full impact of his life. His death wasn’t a tragedy, it was a victory…
I’ll never forget the impact that he had on my life. I heard a message he preached years ago. The one thing that he said keeps ringing in my heart, “Make your vision your lifestyle.” This man was serious about fulfilling the vision that God gave him. Check out his son’s remarks as his vision continues…
From: Jonathan Falwell
Date: May 25, 2007
Many Carrying the Torch
My father, Jerry Falwell, was buried on Tuesday. Since that time, I have come to realize anew what an incredible team of people Dad placed around him. I would like to pay tribute to them today.
First, as readers know, Dad loved a good political battle. A few years ago, he became a colleague of Mathew and Anita Staver of Liberty Counsel and together they have uniquely influenced our culture. Mat, the founder of Liberty Counsel and the dean of the Liberty University School of Law, and Anita, now the president of Liberty Counsel, are frontline warriors in our nationâ€™s religious freedom wars. Dad loved standing in the trenches with them and helping them educate future generations of Judeo-Christian soldiers.
Dad also loved to engage the culture through this communiquÃ©, his National Liberty Journal newspaper and through national media appearances. I know that the Liberty Broadcasting Network and National Liberty Journal staffs loved Dad and were grateful for the opportunities they had to help him represent Christianity to a society that largely eschews our values.
At Liberty University, Dad placed around him men and women of character and passion who helped him establish and nurture what is today the largest evangelical university in America.
My brother, Jerry Falwell Jr., speaking at Libertyâ€™s commencement exercises on May 19, confidently stated, â€œAll is well at Liberty.â€ I can say with all honesty that there is no person alive today more qualified and more gifted to lead Liberty University than my brother.
Jerry, who has now assumed Dadâ€™s role as chancellor of the university, could make this statement largely because of a great faculty and administration that will continue to train up thousands of students (Dad always called them â€œChampions for Christâ€) who will impact their communities and workplaces with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, more than 125,000 Liberty alumni are carrying out the dream of their chancellor to be â€œsalt and lightâ€ representatives of Christ, just as Dad dreamed.
All is also well at Liberty Christian Academy, our K-12 private school that Dad loved and had recently given much attention. As I write this column, additional construction is taking place at LCA because of a record enrollment of young people, most of whom will continue their educations at Liberty University.
At the historic Thomas Road Baptist Church, we are carrying out Dadâ€™s original and continuing vision to be fearless and compassionate representatives of Christ throughout Central Virginia. As executive pastor at the church, I am fully aware of the sacrifice and dedication of our staff who want to carry on Dadâ€™s plans to reach more and more people with the saving message of Jesus Christ.
Other ministries are also boldly carrying on. From our Liberty Godparent Home for Unwed Mothers and Family Life Services Adoption Agency to the Elim Home for Alcoholic Men, we are reaching out to all with Christian ministry â€” just as Christ called the church to do.
Dad often said that his greatest accomplishment was his family. My parents have spent their entire lives pouring themselves into Jerry Jr., Jeannie and me. They have taught us character, integrity, love for country, love for family, and most importantly, love for God. I know that my Mom will continue to lead our family and to impart to us the great wisdom that God has granted her. She is a Godly woman that shines as an example for all mothers everywhere.
During Dadâ€™s funeral, Dr. Jerry Vines â€” one of Dadâ€™s dearest friends â€” said that the clearest expression he ever heard for the definition of the word â€œanointing,â€ is that it is â€œa special touch for a special task.â€
Dr. Vines noted that God uniquely anointed my father with three special anointings: to engage the culture as a prophet, to be an innovator in Christian education and â€” most importantly â€” to serve as a pastor.
Those who remain will now carry these three torches for my father. It is an honor for my family to serve these ministries as we continue to reach out to the world with the Gospel of Christ and to engage our culture.