Jerry Lamon Falwell Sr. (August 11, 1933 – May 15, 2007) was an American Southern Baptist pastor, televangelist, and conservative activist. He was the founding pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, a megachurch in Lynchburg, Virginia. He founded Lynchburg Christian Academy (now Liberty Christian Academy) in 1967 and Liberty University in 1971 and co-founded the Moral Majority in 1979.
- Falwell, Jerry (January 30, 2006). Achieving Your Dreams. Thomas Nelson.
- Falwell, Jerry (October 17, 2005). Building Dynamic Faith. Thomas Nelson.
- Falwell, Jerry (1973). Capturing a town for Christ.
- Champions for God. Victor Books, 1985.
- Church Aflame. (co-author Elmer Towns) Impact, 1971.
- Dynamic Faith Journal. Thomas Nelson (64 pages) (January 30, 2006)
- Falwell: An Autobiography. Liberty House, 1996. (Ghost written by Mel White)
- Fasting Can Change Your Life. Regal, 1998.
- Finding Inner Peace and Strength. Doubleday, 1982.
- If I Should Die Before I Wake. Thomas Nelson, 1986. (ghost-written by Mel White)
- Liberty Bible Commentary on the New Testament. Thomas Nelson/Liberty University, 1978.
- Liberty Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 1982.
- Listen, America! Bantam Books (July 1981)
- Stepping Out on Faith. Tyndale House, 1984.
- Strength for the Journey. Simon & Schuster, 1987. (ghost-written by Mel White)
- The Fundamentalist Phenomenon. Doubleday, 1981.
- The Fundamentalist Phenomenon/the Resurgence of Conservative Christianity. Baker Book House, 1986.
- The New American Family. Word, 1992.
- When it Hurts Too Much to Cry. Tyndale House,
- Wisdom for Living. Victor Books, 1984.
In early 2005, Falwell was hospitalized for two weeks with a viral infection, discharged, and then rehospitalized on May 30, 2005, in respiratory arrest. President George W. Bush contacted Falwell to “wish him well”. He was subsequently released from the hospital and returned to his duties. Later in 2005, a stent was implanted to treat a 70 percent blockage in his coronary arteries.
On May 15, 2007, Falwell was found without pulse and unconscious in his office at about 10:45 a.m., after he missed a morning appointment, and was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. “I had breakfast with him, and he was fine at breakfast…He went to his office, I went to mine and they found him unresponsive” said Ron Godwin, the executive vice president of Falwell’s Liberty University. His condition was initially reported as “gravely serious”; CPR was administered unsuccessfully. As of 2:10 p.m., during a live press conference, a doctor for the hospital confirmed that Falwell had died of “cardiac arrhythmia, or sudden cardiac death”. A statement issued by the hospital reported he was pronounced dead at Lynchburg General Hospital at 12:40 p.m., EST. Falwell’s family, including his wife, the former Macel Pate (1933-2015), and sons, Jerry Falwell Jr. and Jonathan Falwell, were at the hospital at the time of the pronouncement.
Falwell’s funeral took place on May 22, 2007, at Thomas Road Baptist Church after he lay in repose at both the church and Liberty University. Falwell’s burial service was private. He is interred at a spot on the Liberty University campus near the Carter Glass Mansion and Falwell’s office. Buried nearby is his mentor, B. R. Lakin.
After his death, his sons succeeded him at his two positions; Jerry Falwell Jr. took over as Chancellor of Liberty University while Jonathan Falwell became the Senior Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church. His daughter, Jeannie F. Savas, is a surgeon.
The last televised interview with Jerry Falwell was conducted by Christiane Amanpour for the CNN original series CNN Presents: God’s Warriors. He had been interviewed on May 8, one week before his death. Falwell’s last televised sermon was his May 13, 2007, message on Mother’s Day.