Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May You Rest In Peace, We're Going To Miss You

Jerry Falwell, 1933 - 2007

Reverend Jerry Falwell died this morning at the age of 73. Mr. Falwell was founder of the Moral Majority, and Liberty University.

In the Spring of 1979, Mr. Falwell formed the Moral Majority, a conservative political lobbying movement that was pro-life, pro-family, pro-Israel, and pro-national defense.

In its first two years the Moral Majority mobilized over 100,000 pastors, priests, and rabbis and nearly seven million religious conservatives who all shared the same values as stated above. Mr. Falwell initially gave the Moral Majority his five year commitment to serve in a leadership role. He actually served ten years before disbanding the organization in 1989 to focus on the expansion of Liberty University, which he also founded.

The Moral Majority chose to support then California Governor Ronald Reagan as candidate for President in 1980. The Moral Majority registered 80 million new voters, and set out to inform and stimulate American voters who were committed to faith, family, and Judeo-Christian values.

After college, at the young age of 22, Mr. Falwell returned to his hometown, Lynchburg, Virginia, and started the Thomas Road Baptist Church with 35 members. The first Sunday offering totaled $135. Today, Thomas Road Church has some 24,000 members.

After founding Thomas Road Baptist in 1956, Mr. Falwell began the Old-Time Gospel Hour, a daily local radio ministry and a weekly local television ministry. Fifty years later, the Old-Time Gospel Hour is available to every American home and on every continent except Antarctica.

Through the years, over three million people have professed Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior as a result of the Old-Time Gospel Hour radio and television ministry.

Mr. Falwell had a vision of a Christian educational system, and in 1967 he built Lynchburg Christian Academy, a Christ-centered, fully accredited Christian day school providing kindergarten, elementary and high school that excelled academically.

Then in 1971, Mr. Falwell founded Liberty University that presently has over 21,500 students from 50 states and 80 nations attending the accredited, liberal arts Christian university.

Mr. Falwell was named Clergyman of the Year in America, Religious Heritage of America in1979, awarded the Jabotinsky Centennial Medal, for friendship to Israel. The medal was presented by Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1980. He was also named Christian Humanitarian of the Year, Food for the Hungry International, 1981 and Most Admired Man Not in Congress, Conservative Digest, 1983.

He was voted several times among the 10 Most Admired Men in America, by the Good Housekeeping Poll and named one of the 25 Most Influential People in America, U.S. News & World Report, 1983.

Mr. Falwell was featured on the covers of Newsweek and Time, and other print and broadcast outlets. He was invited to speak at dozens of colleges and universities including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, UCLA, and Notre Dame.

He met privately numerous times with Presidents George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon.

He also met with world leaders such as Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, South African President F.W. DeKlerk, Jordan's King Hussein, and Israeli Prime Ministers Begin, Shamir, Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu and Sharon.

He also wrote several books, including; When it Hurts Too Much to Cry, Finding Inner Peace and Strength, Strength for the Journey.

I can’t say that I always agreed with him, but I always respected him. I always enjoyed watching him when he appeared on the news to offer his opinion.

He was a great man who accomplished a lot.

Jerry Falwell was loved and respected by many, and he achieved more in his lifetime than all of his detractors combined.

May You Rest In Peace Jerry Falwell.


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