Update: Jerry Falwell Jr. Reverses Decision, Resigns as Liberty University President

(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

After a series of conflicting statements and media reports, Jerry Falwell Jr. has resigned as president of Liberty University, reports The Wall Street Journal. "In a phone call to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Falwell said he had just sent his resignation letter to the board of the Christian school in Virginia," the Journal report says.

In their own statement late Monday, Liberty officials said Mr. Falwell had agreed to resign and then reversed course. "Since that time, 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 Executive Committee met this morning and a conference call gathering of the full board was planned for tomorrow [Tuesday]," their statement said.

Reports of his resignation came within hours of the release of a Reuters story that alleged his knowledge of and complicity with a longtime affair between his wife, Becki, and former Falwell business partner, Giancarlo Granda.

Sunday, Falwell himself released an extensive statement about his wife's affair and the resultant pain to himself and his family.

Last week, a group of 50 pastors, all Liberty alums, issued a letter calling for Falwell's resignation. Colby Garman, pastor of the Pillar Church in Dumfries, Virginia, published that letter and today reiterated his call for Falwell's removal, according to Religion News Service. Garman posted on Twitter today that "The past 24 hours of news related to Liberty University and Jerry Falwell and his family is sad. Whatever portion of it is true is a reminder of just how deeply entangling sin can become and our deep need for genuine spiritual renewal from Christ each and very day."

"Falwell, who has been president of Liberty University, one of the nation's largest Christian schools, since his father's death in 2007, has greatly expanded the school and its offerings during his tenure," the RNS story notes, adding "Reached by phone earlier Monday, Falwell told RNS he had already given his statement to the Washington Examiner and wouldn't comment further."

Please join the Charisma staff in continued prayers for Liberty University as well as for Falwell and his family.


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