Jerry Falwell Jr. Resigns as President of Liberty University

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
August 25, 2020US News
Jerry Falwell Jr. Resigns as President of Liberty University
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)

Jerry Falwell Jr. said late Monday that he’s resigning as president of Liberty University, amid twin scandals that have unfolded in recent weeks.

Falwell told The Wall Street Journal that he sent his resignation letter to the university’s board.

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

The 58-year-old was placed on indefinite leave earlier this month after he 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.

NTD Photo
FILE – In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. speaks before a convocation at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Falwell has agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence from his role as president and chancellor of Liberty University, the school announced Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Falwell has disputed the characterizations made by Giancarlo Granda, the business partner, and accused Granda of trying to blackmail him.

Liberty University said in a statement on Monday that Falwell agreed to resign as the school’s president and from its board of directors, but withdrew the resignation following media reports about the action.

Since the time 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 said.

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

Acting President Jerry 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.”

Liberty University didn’t respond to a request for comment on Falwell’s late Monday announcement.

In a separate statement to ABC News, Falwell said he was not 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.

From The Epoch Times

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