Jonathan Falwell is the senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, the Executive Vice President of Spiritual Affairs at Liberty University, and the son of the late Jerry Falwell. Jonathan’s services are broadcast weekly on Paul Crouch’s network, TBN. His church has close affiliation with Liberty University, and his show reflects this in its title, Liberty Today. Understanding Jonathan’s story begins with knowing a little of his father’s. Jerry Falwell founded Thomas Road Baptist in 1956 with a small congregation meeting in a local elementary school. In the decades since that time, the church has grown exponentially in Lynchburg, VA. In 1971, Thomas Road started a small school called Liberty University that would uphold academic excellence alongside a solid biblical basis. This is the church where Jonathan grew up and the seminary where he was educated.
Jonathan earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty in 1987 and went into the business world. Most notably, he started a video and film production company in 1990 that was based in Virginia. He is also an accomplished photographer whose work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post and others. Feeling the pull to ministry, Jonathan returned to school and completed a Master’s in Religion from Liberty in 1996. After that he began to serve at Thomas Road Baptist as an associate pastor under his father. During the 2000’s he received another degree in law while teaching at the church and serving at the school. When his father passed away in 2007, he was quickly and unanimously elected to be the new Senior Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church.
As the pastor, he speaks to a 20,000 member congregation in addition to the millions that have heard him speak on TBN since 2008.He also oversees the religious policies of the university by sitting in leadership over twelve campus pastors. In addition, he is the overseer of the School of Religion at Liberty and the Liberty Theological Seminary program.
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