My encounter with Jerry Falwell

Earlier today I saw that Jerry Falwell died this morning. About seven years ago I spent a summer as an intern for a publisher in Nashville and one day I was told I'd be picking Jerry Falwell up at the airport that day. I'd picked up a few other notable people that summer so that wasn't a big deal. This was, however, the first person I had picked up at the private airport in Nashville. Rev. Falwell and a two other guys came in on a private plane.

My first impression of Falwell was that he was a lot bigger than I expected. He was just a big man in every sense of the word. Big hands, big head, big laugh, etc. He was extremely nice and very outgoing. I remember as we were driving in from the airport, Rev. Falwell was sitting in the front seat of the van and as we passed a car on the highway I saw one guy do a double take that was hilarious. I guess Falwell got that a lot but it was funny to see in person.

I never really had much of an impression of Falwell prior to that day. I knew about some controversy he had stirred up and had also studied a court case he was involved in while studying constitutional law as an undergrad. Overall, as I think about it now, he had to have been a strong leader to do what he did with the Moral Majority and the creation of Liberty University.

Some didn't like what he believed. Some people agreed with him in principle but didn't like his methods or approach. I'll admit that some of things he said did seem outlandish but I give him credit for being proactive to try to see changes made in the country. A lot of people talk about change and a handful actually try to do something about it. At the very least, that's something we can all learn from his example.

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