How Jerry Falwell Is Training Champions for Christ at Liberty University

by | Aug 3, 2018 | Blogs, The Strang Report

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of interviewing Liberty University President Jerry Falwell for my “Strang Report” podcast. Charisma magazine highlighted Falwell and Liberty in our July cover story, “Training Champions for Christ,” where we delve into how one of the world’s largest Christian universities is raising up the next generation of believers. If you don’t already subscribe to Charisma, click here to get that issue.

Recently, though, The New York Times painted an unattractive picture of Liberty, making several claims Falwell says are untrue. I asked him about this in a sidebar to the cover story in the July issue. Falwell points out that the article was written by ProPublica, which he says is owned by George Soros. Instead of suing The New York Times, though, Falwell wrote an op-ed sharing his side, which we posted on charismanews.com.

The Times article did, however, get one thing right: Liberty is huge—but it hasn’t always been.

Falwell’s father, Jerry Falwell Sr., founded Liberty in 1971. I had the pleasure of knowing Falwell Sr., and I visited him at the university in the late 1980s. Falwell Sr. originally named the school Lynchburg Baptist College, and it had only 154 students. Since that time, the school—and the Falwells—has been through tremendous trials, including almost closing Liberty due to its $110 million debt in the early 1990s. In 1996, Falwell Sr. felt prompted to fast for 40 days and pray that God would remove Liberty’s debt burden in 1997-1998. He then fasted and prayed another 40 days—and God provided. The school soon after received a cash gift that was big enough to pay off the entire debt.

Now, Liberty has 110,000 students, 15,000 of whom are on campus. I asked Falwell Jr. in our interview what he thought was the driving force behind Liberty’s incredible growth. Falwell replied that the school’s goal sets itself apart from other Christian colleges.

“It’s the only one I know of that set out from day one, in 1971, to become for evangelical Christians what Brigham Young is for Mormons, what Notre Dame is for Catholics—a world-class university, with world-class facilities and NCAA Division I sports,” Falwell says. “In the early ’70s, my father was talking about playing USC, Alabama [and] Notre Dame in football. And everybody thought he was crazy because we didn’t even have a campus until 1977.”

Falwell says the university rented both old buildings around town and rickety buses for the first several years. But the school’s humble beginnings didn’t deter its founder’s vision. Falwell says that’s the reason the school has succeeded. Liberty offers something most evangelical schools never intended to offer—or thought it was possible to offer.

But even more impressive than its number of students is Liberty’s ability to raise generations of young people who pursue Christ and thrive in various fields. The common slogan at Liberty is “If it’s Christian, it should be better,” and the school’s goal is to graduate students who live that way. But that’s hard to do in a culture that’s rigged against Christian education, Falwell says.

Listen to my podcast to hear how Liberty is overcoming the odds to raise up the next generation for Christ.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Jonathan Cahn: How the Great Seduction Overwhelmed America

Jonathan Cahn: How the Great Seduction Overwhelmed America

Read Time: 7 Minutes, 16 Seconds Is it possible that ancient entities known as "the gods" have returned to our world? If so, who are these gods? And could they be the hidden agents transforming modern culture? Is it possible that in the mythologies of the ancient...

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

Read Time: 3 Minutes 6 Seconds I didn’t grow up celebrating Advent. When I was little, we put up a tree, got presents and had a Christmas Eve service. It seemed to me that most grown-ups were stressed over Christmas and thankful when it was all over. It wasn’t until...

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

Read Time: 4 Minutes 17 Seconds The day after Thanksgiving is culturally called Black Friday, in the U.S. It marks the beginning of retail sales that could ensure a successful and profitable Christmas-gift-buying season. Black Friday In decades past, book-keepers...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am About to Redeem the Times’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am About to Redeem the Times’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 39 Seconds In corporate prayer the other day, I was in place of deep prayer and intercession when I heard in my spirit, "Redeem the times." As I continued to pray, I just kept hearing "Redeem the times" echo in my spirit. Then the Lord said, "I am...

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Read Time: 3 Minutes 53 Seconds WalletHub estimates 97% of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and were expected to spend $835 million on Thanksgiving turkeys for last week’s holiday. More than 50 million people were expected to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on...

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

Read Time: 4 Minutes 49 Seconds I know that what I am writing in my blog today will cause some people discomfort. Others will become angry and still others will choose to stop reading my blogs and articles. Yet, knowing that there is a danger of the above happening,...

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are...

RECENT ARTICLES

Jonathan Cahn Reveals Latest Mystery That Lies Behind Wokeism in America

Is it possible that ancient entities known as the "gods" have returned to our world? Could they be the hidden agents transforming modern culture? Could the growing movement to curtail free speech in...
10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

This month we are entering a season which, in the United States, has been devoted to gratitude and thanksgiving for 400 years! While the Thanksgiving holiday has had a long and varied history within the United States, the practice of devoting sacrificial offerings,...

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

My frequent trips to developing nations always help me adjust my attitude. Just when I start to feel spoiled and entitled, I meet people from places like Congo, India and Honduras—and I realize just how blessed I am. This happened to me again last week during a trip...

The Power of Being Thankful

The Power of Being Thankful

One of the best ways to show God we love Him is to be thankful. When we express our deep gratitude to Him, it actually invites His presence onto our lives. Being thankful also neutralizes the enemy and brings victory into our situations no matter what the outcome....

Get Off Your Pew!

Get Off Your Pew!

As God’s clock inches closer to the final hour before His return, many people find themselves filled with angst, anxiety and despair. People are not sleeping well, many have fallen into depression and are feeling hopeless. These are the very days that we have been...

Pin It on Pinterest