UPDATED April 9, 2021: On April 8, 2021, Liberty University announced that Jonathan Falwell, brother of Jerry Falwell, Jr., will replace David Nasser as campus pastor at the end of the semester. Falwell is currently the senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, which is affiliated with the college.
“This has been one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever had to make, but we do feel affirmed that God is asking for our obedience to step out of this role in ministry and into a whole new role in ministry elsewhere,” said David Nasser in a video announcement with his wife, Jennifer. “As your campus pastor, I can’t ask you week after week to be obedient and to go wherever (God) leads and then not model that very same thing in our own lives.”
The Nassers are moving to Nashville, Tenn., to lead an “exciting, new” non-profit. They did not identify the non-profit by name, although Liberty’s announcement stated, “David Nasser is moving onto the next opportunities the Lord provided, using his voice on behalf of the most vulnerable, ministering on behalf of orphans and foster children.”
David Nasser has served at Liberty since 2014. University president Jerry Prevo said, “He has done an amazing job with helping our students to develop a closer walk with the Lord. He will be missed.”
The university also noted, “The parting is amicable and on good terms.”
In his announcement, Nasser observed, “We realize that this news is going to be received by a lot of different people in a lot of different ways.” Save71, which describes itself as “a group of Liberty alumni, students and faculty calling for new leadership,” responded to the news by criticizing Nasser and posing a challenge to his replacement. “A good first step for Jonathan would be to apologize for the spiritual abuse that Liberty has endured for years,” said the group in a tweet. “He should make clear that sexual harassment and corruption have no place at Liberty.”
ChurchLeaders original article written on August 28, 2020, below:
Speaking at the first Wednesday night Bible study of Liberty University’s fall semester, David Nasser addressed the controversy surrounding the school’s former president, Jerry Falwell Jr. Nasser apologized to the students for the embarrassment Falwell’s actions have brought to the school, the faculty, and the students. He also said what Falwell needs now is neither extravagant grace nor rigid judgement, but rather the balance of grace and truth that Jesus exemplifies.
“This moment we are in is a mess,” David Nasser admitted during his message to the students. “We opened the semester with a series of revelations about Jerry Falwell that can only be described as shameful,” he said, alluding to the sexual misconduct allegations aimed at both Falwell and his wife, Becki, to which the couple has partially admitted. Later in Nasser’s message, he said “It’s ok to call sin sin.”
David Nasser is the Senior Vice President of Spiritual Development at Liberty. Preaching at Campus Community, a Wednesday night Bible study for Liberty students, Nasser said “neither side” would be content with his comments about Falwell.
He also addressed those viewing who may not be affiliated with Liberty but who tuned in out of curiosity or perhaps for journalistic reasons—people, Nasser explained, who may not share the school’s Christian faith. While he said those people were welcome to watch the message, he also made it clear that the message was intended for Christians, and specifically, the students at Liberty.
Speaking specifically to those enrolled in the school, Nasser personally apologized to them. “I am sorry. In my opinion, you as a Liberty student, deserve better. The embarrassment that has been brought upon you as a Liberty student, and more importantly brought upon the name of Christ, is wrong. I know that many of you are hurting and that breaks my heart.”
You Should Be Concerned, David Nasser Tells Students
Additionally, Nasser brought attention to the gravity of the situation with Falwell and how it reflects poorly on the school Jerry Falwell Sr. founded. “If you’re not concerned, you should be concerned….You and your family have worked hard to pay for a Christian education, and this isn’t what you signed up for.” Nasser went on to say, “As our founder often said, ‘If it’s Christian, it ought to be better.’ Certainly better than this.”