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UPDATE: Jonathan Falwell Will Be the New Campus Pastor at Liberty

In addition to addressing the most recent scandal surrounding the Falwells (albeit without mentioning any details), Nasser also mentioned another issue that came up earlier this year, one that caused several African American staff members and students to leave the school.

Nasser said the department he works in, the Office of Spiritual Development, has lost “several African American staff members who I love and think so highly of.” One of those colleagues specifically mentioned to Nasser the image Falwell posted on Twitter showing a mask with a picture of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in blackface. Falwell’s tweet was intended to be a jab at the governor, but it ended up offending many for its racist overtones and lack of tact on Falwell’s part. It was that tweet that convinced Nasser’s colleague he could no longer work at Liberty. “I believe he was being obedient to what God was calling him to do personally,” Nasser said of his former colleague. He emphasized that he didn’t fault anyone for deciding to leave, rather wanted to bless them. 

The crux of Nasser’s message pertained to the “grace and truth” approach to people that we should take, per Jesus’ teaching. Meaning that while some will want to extend grace to Falwell and potentially gloss over the things he’s done, others might be tempted to condemn him for the lack of morality he’s displayed over the years. What Jesus teaches us, though, is a balanced approach to grace and truth which would embrace Falwell as a fellow fallen human being while also holding him accountable for his actions. Nasser didn’t apply this principle to any specifics in the case with Falwell. For instance, he might have brought up the question of whether or not Falwell had in fact been held to account. Was his resignation sufficient? 

Falwell’s $10.5 Million Severance Package

On Tuesday, August 25th, the Board of Trustees for Liberty University announced they had accepted Falwell’s resignation and didn’t see any need to push back on the terms he submitted via his lawyer. Speaking to the Washington Post, Falwell disclosed that his severance package entitles him to $10.5 million, which will be distributed as follows: $2.5 million over the next 24 months and then $8 million in retirement after that. This according to a contract Falwell signed in July 2019 with the school. “The board was gracious not to challenge that,” Falwell said, noting that “there wasn’t any cause” since he didn’t “do anything.”

Following Falwell’s resignation, another set of allegations involving a former Liberty student have surfaced involving Becki Falwell. The couple continues to deny both the details of the allegations leveled against them by their business partner, Giancarlo Granda, and now this former Liberty student.

In a statement, the couple responded to the allegations:

“It is unfortunate that the coverage of our departure has turned into a frenzy of false and fantastic claims about us. These false and mean spirited lies have hurt us and our family greatly and we will respond fully with the truth at an appropriate time. At this time, however, we think it is best to move on and help the Liberty community focus on its very bright future…”