Liberty University Accepts Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Resignation

August 25, 2020 Updated: August 25, 2020

Liberty University accepted the resignation of President Jarry Falwell Jr. on Tuesday.

The school’s Board of Trustees accepted Falwell’s resignation as president and chancellor and his resignation from the college’s board of directors.

“I am so encouraged by the unity of Christ that I saw exemplified by our Board today. Liberty University’s future is very bright and in capable hands of leaders who are committed to being good stewards of what the Lord has entrusted!” Dr. Allen McFarland, acting board chairman, said in a statement sent to The Epoch Times.

“Our students are ready to be world changers as Champions for Christ. Their spirit is strong as they look to the future. I intend to do all I can to nurture their spiritual side as they grow academically and enjoy all our campus has to offer,” added Jerry Prevo, the acting president of the school.

Falwell, a lawyer, had been president of the private Christian university since 2007 before being placed on indefinite leave earlier this month.

Falwell, 58, posted a photograph of himself with a woman on Instagram. Both had their pants unbuttoned.

Falwell later described the woman as a close family friend and said the photo was a way of poking fun at the woman’s pregnant belly.

A second scandal erupted this week when a former business partner of Falwell and his wife claimed he was involved in a sexual relationship with them from March 2012 into 2018. Falwell has disputed the characterizations made by Giancarlo Granda, the business partner, and accused Granda of trying to blackmail him.

Falwell told news outlets late Monday that he was resigning.

Epoch Times Photo
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. (L) and Becki Falwell (R) take part in a town hall with First Lady Melania Trump in Las Vegas, Nev., on March 5, 2019. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The day saw Falwell initially agree to resign before immediately reversing course, according to school officials. He submitted a resignation letter late Monday to members of the Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee.

Falwell said the board didn’t follow proper procedure when it placed him on leave.

“The board put me on leave, took away my duties as prez, and that’s not permitted by my contract,” Falwell told The Wall Street Journal. “And they put me on leave because of pressure from self-righteous people.”

Liberty University said in an earlier statement that things had changed since Falwell agreed to go on a leave of absence.

“Additional matters came to light that made it clear that it would not be in the best interest of the university for him to return from leave and serve as President,” the university stated.

“The Executive Committee met this morning and a conference call gathering of the full Board was planned for tomorrow.”

Prevo called on the school community and its supporters to pray for the college and its leadership “as we walk with the Lord through this stormy time of transition.”

In a separate statement to ABC News, Falwell said he wasn’t called to be a pastor.

“My calling was to use my legal and business expertise to make Liberty University the evangelical version of Notre Dame,” Falwell said. “Some of us are called to be preachers; that wasn’t mine. I was called to make Liberty University the greatest Christian university in the world, and I couldn’t have done that as a preacher.”

Falwell, a lawyer, took the helm of the private Christian university in 2007, succeeding his late father.

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