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Remembering Dr. Jerry Falwell

May 15, 2008

Today marks the one year anniversary of Dr. Falwell’s death. It’s so hard to believe one year has already gone by. I remember the funeral like it was yesterday. Jeremiah and I flew from TX to VA. We were interviewed twice by reporters in Lynchburg and for CNN. It was such a surreal time and so hard to grasp the reality. We were in shock for several weeks. Still today, it’s hard to believe.

Dr. Falwell’s legacy will continue on in our hearts just as I told CNN. He founded Liberty University with the purpose of raising up Champions for Christ. He had a mission to fulfill on this earth and he accomplished more in a lifetime than a person could in one year. I really got to know Dr. Falwell better when Jeremiah took care of him in the hospital in March 2005. Jeremiah was his nurse. They would watch LU basketball together and Jeremiah would bring him hot chocolate at his request. For a seminary class assignment, I was able to go up to his room and interview him (we still have the recording). I saw him in his hospital gown with his wife, Masel. He was the first to say he would marry me and Jeremiah. We took him up on his offer and in December he married us.

He remembered our names where we were from and he always had an encouraging word. He truly loved people and those who rubbed shoulders with him the most, knew he did. He was a man of great faith and inspired multitudes, many of which we have no idea. He inspired my entire family and my Dad in his new faith. He invested in his family, college students, Liberty University, Thomas Road, the Liberty Godparent home, politics and so much more. My college experience was what it was because of his influence. Liberty changed my life and changed countless of my friends’ lives.

What a joy to know today that he is with Jesus- with the One we’ve all been waiting for. He is missed greatly, but his legacy will continue on in the hearts of those who really knew him. Thank you, God, for using Dr. Falwell in my life. How has Dr. Falwell influenced yours?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen Swallow Prior permalink
    May 15, 2008 10:16 pm

    I wrote this shortly after Jerry Falwell’s death:

    How Dr. Falwell Changed My LifeShare
    Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 6:18pm | Edit Note | Delete
    First, he had the audacity to create an institution of higher learning that would eventually become Liberty University.

    Then that institution graduated a number of people who would become pastors.

    Then one of those people became my pastor, the pastor who married my husband and me when we were young, naïve believers who had a lot of maturing to do.

    Then that pastor discipled my husband and me to an incalculable degree.

    The spiritual maturity I gained through that discipleship sustained me throughout my graduate studies, enabling me not only to complete my Ph.D. but more importantly (and miraculously) to do so without abandoning the faith, even in an environment where that faith was challenged in ways I didn’t even know were possible.

    Then, upon completing my Ph.D., I applied, among other places, to that very institution of higher learning founded by the audacious Dr. Falwell.

    And because I was hired here, I have been able to fulfill my lifelong dream of living in an old brick farmhouse with my dogs and horses and antique roses in the beautiful countryside of the temperate mid-Atlantic.

    But more importantly, I get to drive onto this campus everyday and get paid to do what God created me to do: to share my love of literature and life with young Christians whom I strive to disciple into glorifying God by enjoying Him forever.

    Thank you, Dr. Falwell.

    And welcome home.

  2. May 15, 2008 10:48 pm

    Wow, Dr. Prior. That is so beautiful. I have chills. What an impact he has had on you. Thank you for sharing.

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