may 17, 2007
Leaders Remember Rev. Jerry Falwell
My wife and I have sent our condolences to Macel Falwell and her family. Jerry has been a tower of strength on many of the moral issues which have confronted our nation. Liberty University is a magnificent accomplishment and will prove a lasting legacy. Jerry’s courage and strength of convictions will be sadly missed in this time of increasing moral relativism. I join with the tens of thousands of his friends to mourn the passing of this extraordinary human being.
President George W. Bush:
Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Jerry Falwell, a man who cherished faith, family, and freedom. As the founder of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, Jerry lived a life of faith and called upon men and women of all backgrounds to believe in God and serve their communities. One of his lasting contributions was the establishment of Liberty University, where he taught young people to remain true to their convictions and rely upon God's word throughout each stage of their lives.
Today, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Macel and the rest of the Falwell family.
Evangelist Billy Graham:
Jerry Falwell was a close personal friend for many years. We did not always agree on everything, but I knew him to be a man of God. His accomplishments went beyond most clergy of his generation. Some of my grandchildren have attended and currently attend Liberty University. He leaves a gigantic vacuum in the evangelical world.
Dr. James Dobson:
Jerry's passions and convictions changed the course of our country for the better over the last 20 years. It was Jerry who led an entire wing of Christianity, the fundamentalist wing, away from isolation and into a direct confrontation with the culture.
Beverly LaHaye, Founder and Chairman, Concerned Women for America:
Dr. Jerry Falwell is a long-time dear friend who had a tremendously positive impact on America. His bold leadership helped change the course of Evangelical engagement in the public square. Dr. Falwell made big dreams reality - by inspiring millions to political involvement, by dedicating himself to higher education, and most importantly, by fostering Christian outreach to the spiritually and physically needy through Thomas Road Baptist Church and its myriad ministries. Though he is now with the Savior he loved, Jerry Falwell's legacy will continue through the lives of those who were so profoundly touched by his vision.
Wendy Wright, President, Concerned Women for America:
Dr. Jerry Falwell had a profound impact on America by reviving Evangelicals' involvement in the broader culture. He gained the authority to be heard on key issues of our day because of his work to help people in need and train leaders for the future. All of us at CWA are praying for his family and those who worked with and loved him. We take comfort in the words of Jesus Who promised eternal life to all who believe.
Rev. Franklin Graham, President and CEO, Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:
Jerry Falwell was my friend. I, like millions of people across the country, will miss him. Above all else, Jerry Falwell was a pastor who cared for other people. He has now gone to be with the Lord, whom he spent a lifetime telling others about."
"My family has been directly and personally influenced by Jerry Falwell, as each of my four children has spent time at Liberty University, which he founded. He was a remarkable visionary, a leader of leaders, and is responsible for introducing countless people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Brian E. Fisher, Executive Vice President of Coral Ridge Ministries:
On behalf of Dr. Kennedy and the Board of Coral Ridge Ministries, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to the family of Jerry Falwell. His death today has brought to a sudden close the life of one of the most influential Christian leaders of the twentieth century.
Dr. Kennedy held Dr. Falwell in the highest regard for his Christian witness and moral leadership for the nation. Dr. Falwell was both a friend and co-laborer with Dr. Kennedy, who served on the initial board of directors of Moral Majority and spoke at Liberty University. Dr. Falwell addressed Coral Ridge Ministries' Reclaiming America for Christ conference in 2000.
Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary:
Dr. Falwell's shadow falls across the face of the rebirth of conservative values in our nation, in the Southern Baptist Convention, and in the entire evangelical world. Only once in a generation will a man of his stature arise. We all owe him a debt of eternal gratitude.
Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition:
Dr. Falwell was a great Christian statesman, a visionary who recognized decades ago that Christians had the moral duty to be involved in our culture and that included the political arena.
Rev. Falwell’s creation of the Moral Majority was a turning point in history for the Church in America, and his legacy will last for decades to come. He was an inspiration to all of us who are involved in defending traditional values, and his courageous stand in the face of strong opposition is deeply appreciated.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews:
Rev. Jerry Falwell is a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people, and a man that I was honored to call a personal friend. He will be deeply missed. "When I started The Fellowship, he was among the first Christians to step forward and express interest in being involved in our bridge-building work. And, over the years, he proved his solidarity repeatedly. His involvement helped break down the barriers of mistrust that characterized the relationship between Jews and evangelical Christians at the time.
The Rev. Falwell once said that 'the Bible Belt is Israel's safety belt.' Over the years, he helped me realize the truth of that saying. Wherever there are faithful, Bible-believing Christians, I can be assured of finding true friends and supporters of Israel.
Governor Mitt Romney:
An American who built and led a movement based on strong principles and strong faith has left us. He will be greatly missed, but the legacy of his important work will continue through his many ministries where he put his faith into action."
Sen. John McCain:
Dr. Falwell was a man of distinguished accomplishment who devoted his life to serving his faith and country. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Falwell's family at this difficult time.
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich:
His life is a testament not only to the power of faith to move hearts, but to the strength of the American ethos that stresses the importance of citizenship ... He was a great leader, a person totally sustained by his faith but able to work with many people from many different backgrounds without imposing rigidity on anyone else.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani:
He was a man who set a direction. He was someone who was not afraid to speak his mind. We all have great respect for him ... he is a person who told you what he thought, and you knew where he stood.
Rev. Jesse Jackson:
Over the years we became friends; sometimes we had polar opposite points of view. ... I have many fond memories of him. He leaves a great legacy of service and a great university behind. He's left his footprints in the sands of time."
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, President, Toward Tradition, the American Alliance of Jews and Christians:
Like Noah, Jerry Falwell walked with God and found grace in His eyes. He was a friend to all Americans, he was a friend to the Biblical values that he believed America needed, and he was a wonderful friend to me.
Of his gigantic accomplishments in making a place at the political table for Bible-believing Americans, little needs to be said. Both friend and foe granted his towering prestige. However, one needed to know him personally to marvel at his humility and graciousness in everyday encounters, whether momentous or minor.
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life:
We are very sad at the passing of Rev. Falwell and we pledge to continue his legacy by activating Christians in the political arena. Lord, give us more Jerry Falwells.
Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition:
I worked with him and knew him as a friend for 24 years. He had a huge influence on me. I think he had a huge influence on the direction of the country. And tonight our thoughts and our prayers are with his family and with the Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist family and Lynchburg community. I know they've lost a dear friend and a leader. And our thoughts and prayers go out to all of them.
Former President George H. W. Bush:
I had a great deal of respect for the Reverend Falwell even when we disagreed. I admired his convictions and faith. We were proud to call him a friend.
Rev. Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network:
I met Jerry Falwell many years ago. Reverend James Coldwell, who heads our organization over in Lynchburg, brought us together. And we didn't agree on anything. I mean we really debated. We used to do a lot of TV debates, even 'Meet the Press.' We used to do a weekly debate on another show.
But he was the kind of person, as you got to know him, you couldn't dislike. He was a genuinely kind person. And it was to the point where he would take personal interest.
Brent Bozell, Media Research Center President:
Rev. Jerry Falwell gave his heart and soul to his family, his faith and his country. This is obvious when one looks at the decades of work he completed to grow his ministry, nurture his university, and advance the conservative movement throughout the culture and in politics.
Rev. Falwell was a great leader who helped organize grassroots conservatives across America, and who was instrumental in the presidential election of Ronald Reagan. His inspiring presence and moral insight will be greatly missed.
Rev. Rob Schenck, National Clergy Council President:
Dr. Falwell defined himself. He was a bold, unapologetic, uncompromising voice for Biblical truth that pushed the envelope and challenged secular culture to its limits. He was a great inspiration to younger leaders like myself. Jerry Falwell's legacy will long outlast him, but many of us will miss him as a father in the faith and a religious Dutch uncle.
Share your thoughts: How did Jerry Falwell's ministry impact your life and those around the world?
CBN News: Rev. Jerry Falwell Remembered
Public Viewings Scheduled for Falwell
E-mail Craig with your comments on this Blog
More from Craig
von Buseck on CBN.com
More from Spiritual Life