LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – There is a mixed bag of emotions tonight on the campus of Liberty University as well as throughout Lynchburg as word quickly circulated around the area that Liberty University’s President and Chancellor, Jerry Falwell, Jr. has been asked to take an immediate, indefinite leave of absence.
This stems from a series of events in recent months including when Falwell mocked Governor Northam back in May for suggesting he would only wear a mask that featured an image from the Governor’s Medical School Yearbook, showing a man in a Ku Klux Klan robe, alongside someone in Blackface.
Then, this past weekend, Falwell posted a photo of himself on Instagram, standing next to a young woman with both of their pants unzipped with Falwell’s underwear in view.
“It’s going to turn to crap, because there ain’t gonna be a good leader involved,” said Lynchburg resident Matt Hardy.
Another Lynchburg resident, Kristen McConville said, “A lot of people aren’t accepting because of the influence, so I would like to see positive change.”
A Lynchburg business owner who spoke to WFXR News off-camera said he is personally happy because this city, “can finally start moving forward in a positive light.”
Earlier Friday afternoon, Liberty University issued an initial statement announcing the Board of Trustee’s decision.
“The Executive Committee of Liberty University’s Board of Trustees, acting on behalf of the full Board, met today and requested that Jerry Falwell, Jr. take an indefinite leave of absence from his roles as President and Chancellor of Liberty University, to which he has agreed, effective immediately.”Statement from Liberty University
Jerry Prevo, Chairman of Liberty University’s Board of Trustees released a statement Friday evening.
“In the 13 years that Jerry Falwell, Jr. has served as president of Liberty University, Liberty has experienced unprecedented success, not only academically and financially, with a world-class campus, but also spiritually. As we enter our 50th Anniversary year, we have been blessed to grow to a record 120,000 students, both residential and online, and continue to fulfill our founder’s mission to Train Champions for Christ across the world.
Unfortunately, with this success and the burdens of leading a large and growing organization comes substantial pressure. Today, my colleagues and I on the Liberty University Board of Trustees and Jerry mutually agreed that it would be good for him to take an indefinite leave of absence. This was a decision that was not made lightly, and which factored the interests and concerns of everyone in the LU community, including students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, leaders of the Church, as well as the Falwell family.
To support Jerry through this period, we ask that our entire community lift him up in prayer so he may be able to fulfill God’s purpose for him and for Liberty University.”Jerry Prevo, Chairman of Liberty University’s Board of Trustees