Anstice Berk

Written by Anstice Berk

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Jerry Falwell was a prominent figure in American Christianity, known for his charismatic personality and strong conservative beliefs. As the founder of the Moral Majority and the Liberty University, Falwell played a significant role in shaping the religious and political landscape of the United States. However, there are several fascinating facts about Falwell that many people may not be aware of. From his early beginnings as a pastor to his controversial statements and involvement in various political movements, this article aims to shed light on 19 astounding facts about Jerry Falwell. Whether you are a fan of his or someone interested in learning more about influential religious figures, these facts will provide you with a deeper understanding of Falwell’s life and legacy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Jerry Falwell was a prominent evangelical pastor who founded a university and influenced American politics, but his controversial statements and legal battles sparked debate about his legacy.
  • Despite his passing, Jerry Falwell’s impact lives on through Liberty University and his son, Jerry Falwell Jr., continuing his legacy in academia and conservative Christian education.
Table of Contents

Jerry Falwell was a prominent American evangelical Christian pastor and televangelist.

With a charismatic personality and strong religious convictions, Falwell rose to prominence as the founder of the Moral Majority, a political organization that aimed to promote conservative Christian values.

He was born on August 11, 1933, in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Falwell spent most of his life in Lynchburg, where he would later establish Liberty University, a Christian institution that is now one of the largest evangelical universities in the world.

Falwell founded Thomas Road Baptist Church.

In 1956, Falwell founded Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, which quickly grew to become one of the largest congregations in the country, with a membership of over 25,000.

He became a prominent figure in the conservative political landscape.

Falwell’s influence extended beyond the realm of religion as he became actively involved in politics, endorsing and supporting conservative candidates who aligned with his beliefs.

Falwell played a key role in the rise of the religious right.

During the 1980s, Falwell and his Moral Majority organization played a crucial role in mobilizing conservative Christians to become a powerful force in American politics, particularly within the Republican Party.

He was known for his controversial statements.

Falwell was not one to shy away from expressing his opinions, often making headlines with his controversial remarks on various social and political issues.

Falwell was a staunch opponent of LGBTQ+ rights.

His strong conservative beliefs led him to vehemently oppose LGBTQ+ rights, advocating against same-sex marriage and other forms of LGBTQ+ equality.

He was involved in several legal battles.

Falwell found himself entangled in various legal controversies, including a high-profile case against Hustler Magazine, which resulted in a landmark Supreme Court ruling on the limits of free speech.

Falwell was a proponent of creationism.

He firmly believed in the biblical account of creation and championed the teaching of creationism alongside or in place of evolution in schools.

His influence extended beyond the United States.

Falwell’s teachings and activism had a global reach, with his ideologies resonating with conservative Christians around the world.

Falwell played a role in the formation of the Christian Coalition.

Following the disbandment of the Moral Majority, Falwell played a key role in the establishment of the Christian Coalition, another influential political organization with a focus on promoting conservative Christian values.

He was a prolific author.

Falwell authored numerous books throughout his career, addressing topics such as religion, politics, and morality.

Falwell received honorary degrees from several universities.

In recognition of his contributions to the Christian community, Falwell was awarded honorary degrees from various universities, including Liberty University.

He was a strong supporter of Israel.

Falwell was a staunch supporter of the State of Israel, advocating for a strong alliance between the United States and Israel based on shared conservative values.

Falwell faced criticism for his comments after the 9/11 attacks.

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, Falwell made controversial remarks suggesting that the attacks were a result of God’s judgment on America due to its moral decay.

He passed away on May 15, 2007.

The death of Jerry Falwell marked the end of an era for conservative Christianity in America.

His legacy lives on through Liberty University.

Despite his passing, Falwell’s influence continues through Liberty University, which remains a prominent institution for conservative Christian education.

Falwell’s son, Jerry Falwell Jr., succeeded him as the president of Liberty University.

Following his father’s footsteps, Jerry Falwell Jr. took over as president of Liberty University and further cemented the Falwell name in the realms of politics and academia.

The impact of Jerry Falwell’s life and work is still debated today.

While some view Jerry Falwell as a champion of conservative Christian values, others criticize him for his controversial statements and involvement in politics.

These 19 astounding facts about Jerry Falwell offer a glimpse into the life of a man who played a significant role in shaping the religious and political landscape of America. Whether celebrated or criticized, Jerry Falwell’s influence can still be felt today through his teachings, institutions, and the ongoing debates surrounding his legacy.


In conclusion, Jerry Falwell was a prominent figure in the religious and political landscape of the United States. His legacy as a Christian leader and founder of Liberty University is undeniable, and his impact on evangelical Christianity cannot be overstated. Throughout his life, Falwell remained a controversial figure, often attracting both fervent support and strong criticism.

From his founding of the Moral Majority to his involvement in various political campaigns, Falwell was a vocal advocate for conservative values and played a significant role in shaping the religious right. Despite the controversies surrounding some of his statements and actions, Falwell leaves behind a lasting legacy as a influential leader, educator, and pastor.


1. Was Jerry Falwell involved in politics?

Yes, Jerry Falwell was actively involved in politics. He founded the Moral Majority in 1979, which aimed to mobilize conservative Christians into the political arena. Falwell played a significant role in shaping the religious right and was a vocal advocate for conservative values.

2. What is Jerry Falwell’s most notable accomplishment?

One of Jerry Falwell’s most notable accomplishments is the founding of Liberty University in 1971. The university has since grown to become one of the largest Christian universities in the world, offering a wide range of programs and degrees.

3. Did Jerry Falwell face any controversies during his lifetime?

Yes, Jerry Falwell faced several controversies throughout his life. Some of his statements, particularly regarding LGBTQ+ rights and feminism, sparked intense criticism and public backlash. These controversies often resulted in heated debates and discussions about his views and the role of religion in society.

4. How did Jerry Falwell impact evangelical Christianity?

Jerry Falwell had a significant impact on evangelical Christianity. His efforts to mobilize conservative Christians in politics and his role in founding the Moral Majority helped galvanize the religious right. Falwell’s influence extended beyond politics, as he played a pivotal role in shaping the values and priorities of many conservative evangelical Christians.

5. What is Jerry Falwell’s lasting legacy?

Jerry Falwell’s lasting legacy is his impact on the intersection of religion and politics in the United States. His leadership, educational contributions through Liberty University, and outspoken advocacy for conservative values have left an indelible mark on American Christianity.

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