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THEN YOU BELONG AT
Lette r f r o m th e c han c e llo r
Liberty Journal is an official bimonthly publication of Liberty University.
P u b li s h e r Jerry Falwell, Jr. E X EC U TIV E E d ito r Ron Brown M a n ag i n g E d ito r Tara Maxwell C ON T RIBU T ING E d ito r Becki Falwell AR T DIRECTOR Krista Freeman M ANAGING DESIGNER Laura Sipple D e s i g n ER s Brittany La Barre Caleb Atkins W r it e r s Mitzi Bible Eric Brown Teresa Dunham Jerry Falwell, Jr. Carmen Fleischauer Sarah Funderburke Tara Maxwell Dominique McKay Johnnie Moore Todd Wetmore P h oto g r a p h e r s Caleb Atkins AJ Chan Joel Coleman Jordan Crossingham Les Schofer Jerome Sturm C i r c u l at i o n Sharon Gainer B u s i n e s s & ADV ER T ISING M ANAGER Steve Peterson August/September Advertising Deadline JUNE 23, 2009 (434) 582-2731 If you would like to subscribe to the Liberty Journal for one year, please send a donation of any amount to Liberty Journal, Subscription Department, 1971 University Blvd., Lynchburg, VA 24502, call (434) 592-3100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright 2007 by Liberty University. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from Liberty University. All pictorial material reproduced in this book, whether in a produced ad or by itself, has been accepted on the condition that it is with the knowledge and prior consent of the photographer or the artist concerned. As such, Liberty University is not rzesponsible for any infringement of copyright or otherwise arising out of publication thereof. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, Liberty University makes no warrant to the accuracy or reliability of this information. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.
friends of Liberty, Liberty University has just completed one of its most successful school years in history. The number of students enrolled recently surpassed the 49,000 mark with over 11,520 students enrolled in resident programs and over 38,000 enrolled in online courses of study during the 2008-09 academic year. Liberty University is fulfilling the original vision of my father and its other founders to become a world-class university, Training Champions for Christ to go out in every profession and become the salt of the earth and the light of the world. I am deeply committed to remaining true to that vision. In this issue and in future issues of the Liberty Journal, we will be featuring several of those Champions — students, faculty and alumni who are making their impact on the world. Likewise, the Journal will feature stories about exciting campus building projects that will enhance the educational experience of our students for generations to come. In this issue, you will read about the recent openings of the 40,000-square foot Barnes & Noble Liberty University Bookstore and the Thomas Indoor Soccer Complex. God has blessed Liberty University as it has progressed from a school that was burdened with too much debt in the 1980s to a school with manageable debt in the 1990s to a debt free school in 2007. Over the last two years, the university has invested over $38 million in capital improvements on campus without borrowing a penny while, at the same time, continuing to build its endowment. The university invested more of its budget in academic programs and instruction than ever before this past year. Liberty University students donated hundreds of thousands of hours of free labor to the local community through our Christian/ Community Service program, and students are traveling all over the world this summer on missions trips. Liberty University is truly fulfilling the original vision for the university academically, spiritually and on the athletic field. Although the university is only 38 years old, we think we have established an enduring legacy for our graduates and future graduates. This year alone we are planning the launch of 50 alumni chapters throughout the U.S. and abroad. Finally, this issue provides detailed coverage of this year’s Commencement ceremonies where over 6,350 students graduated from Liberty University, breaking last year’s record graduating class of about 4,800 students. We hope you will enjoy reading about how God is continuing to smile on Liberty University. Sincerely,
Jerry Falwell, Jr. Chancellor and President li b e rty j o u r nal
Content S j u n e / j u ly 2 0 0 9
f eatu r e s
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Graduates receive memorable farewell 5
J o natha n Fa lw e ll
TRBC pastor works to keep close ties with LU Dan i e l H ow e ll
Biology professor teaches from a creationist view K a ll i e C o r b i n
Volleyball sensation hopes to share skills after college 14
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Missions-minded senior retains bonds with homeland of Romania mar k h i n e
Administrator testifies to LU’s impact on student lives – and his own
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n ew b o o ksto r e
Liberty Barnes & Noble bookstore opens for business S o cc e r f u n
Indoor soccer complex ready for action going pro
Student athletes Rashad Jennings and Megan Frazee go pro 40
54 Check out the Liberty Journal’s website with a fresh, reader-friendly look and compelling Web Exclusives at www.liberty.edu/libertyjournal.
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More than 6,000 students receive degrees BY Car m e n P. F le i s c h au e r
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Liberty University sent its largest-ever graduating class â€” 6,350 students â€” into the world as Champions for Christ this year. Under sunny, blue skies, Arthur L. Williams Stadium was filled with more than 23,000 friends and families of graduates during Libertyâ€™s 36th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 9.
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The ceremony began with a dedication by co-founder Dr. Elmer Towns, who prayed for graduates in the beginning of their “walk in the world,” asking the Lord to “go with them, aid them and use them greatly.” Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. welcomed some “very special guests,” the graduating Class of 2009, and recognized the sacrifice that was made — by students and their families — for the completion of a degree at Liberty. Falwell publicly honored three graduates for their accomplishments. Homer Wilson, age 83, was this year’s oldest graduate; he received a Master of Arts in Religion. Charlotte Hurd, an online student, completed her degree in honor of her husband who was killed in an accident; she credits her academic advisor, Blake Weldon, and fellow online students, for the encouragement and prayer that helped her meet her
goal. Jeffrey Taylor, an LU professor of kinesiology, was tragically killed a week prior to Commencement; his degree, Doctor of Education, was awarded posthumously, and his chair was draped with a doctoral robe and hood. In recognition of Mother’s Day weekend, Falwell praised all the mothers in the audience who helped support their children throughout their time at Liberty. “I’m going to recognize two special mothers as well,” Falwell said. “First, I would like my mother to stand. She was not only standing by my father as a pastor’s wife for many years, but she also graduated from Liberty University with a perfect 4.0 when she was in her 50s. ... And my wife, Becki, would you stand. Becki was a stayat-home mother for 18 years and now has adopted 11,300 children here at Liberty. I don’t know of anyone alive who loves
our students as much as she does. She’s constantly in contact with students — posting their pictures on Facebook, looking for ways to help them, listening to their prayer requests and just being their friend.” God was credited for the multitude of blessings Liberty had experienced over the past year and for the university’s ability to thrive during difficult economic times. “We take that prosperity as further affirmation that God’s hand of protection remains on this university,” Falwell said. During his charge to the graduates, Falwell told them they would be remembered as the class that ushered in the “new era of Liberty University.” “The Class of 2009 was one of the last classes to benefit from my father’s messages of encouragement to persevere in everything they do. They also experienced the first two years of Liberty’s second
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generation,” Falwell said. He thanked students for the role they played in making the transition a successful one. “My family greatly appreciates the warm reception that you have given us and the way that you have moved forward with faith and optimism after my father’s sudden passing,” he said. “This class will always have a special place in our hearts.” Falwell instructed graduates to never give up. “Don’t lose faith when that happens. One day you will look back in hindsight and understand God’s purpose in everything you’ve experienced. You will see that God had a plan for you the whole time, even when you couldn’t see it. The key is to remain faithful to the end,” he said. He closed by asking graduates to carry on the vision and mission of LU to the world as champions for Christ. “Now you need to apply what you’ve learned in whatever profession you choose … and let your service to Christ and your
fellow man be your primary calling.” Accomplished scholar, attorney, writer and actor Ben Stein delivered a message of creationism, patriotism and value for humanity to the graduates. “He has served as a college professor, attorney, author, speechwriter, and even an actor, but the most compelling reason for Liberty University’s choice this year is this man’s work in exposing the intellectual and scientific deficiencies of Darwinism and the dangers of adopting Darwin’s ideas through the documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” Falwell said. This year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and a fitting time to have Mr. Ben Stein bring our Commencement address.”
Baccalaureate Members of Liberty University’s 2009 graduating class and their families filled the Thomas Road Baptist Church sanctuary on Friday, May 8 for the 36th Baccalaureate. pag e 8
“Our son’s name is Alden, and we really feel great because we come to such a blessed place here ... all the way from Bombay (India).”
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Of this year’s graduates, 32 percent were residential students, and 68 percent received degrees from Liberty University Online. The graduates were from 50 states and 34 foreign countries, and 810 students serve actively in the military.
Liberty’s 2009 graduates received degrees and certifications in the following disciplines: Aeronautics
Arts and Sciences
Engineering and Computational Sciences
Willmington School of the Bible
Liberty Home Bible Institute 21 Institute of Biblical Studies
Liberty Online Academy
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Dr. Harold Willmington, dean of Liberty’s Willmington School of the Bible, opened the service with an invocation. After the prayer, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. welcomed those in attendance and explained the Baccalaureate’s significance. “The ultimate purpose of Liberty University is for its graduates to know Christ and make Him known,” he said. “That is why this is the most important of all the commencement ceremonies here at Liberty.” During the service, Provost Boyd Rist, Falwell and Vice Chancellor Ronald Godwin, presented an honorary doctorate of humanities to the service’s speaker, the Rev. Jerry Thorpe. Duke Westover, a lifelong church construction consultant and administrative assistant to Dr. Falwell, Sr., also received an honorary doctorate. Moments later, Thorpe took the podium, delivering a message of encouragement to the 2009 graduates. Thorpe, Pastor Emeritus of Temple Baptist Church in Odessa, Texas, and Liberty Board of Trustees member, addressed the importance
of overcoming life’s challenges. Using the biblical accounts of Gideon, Moses and the Apostle Paul, the speaker noted the men conquered overwhelming odds through their faith. “I’m not challenging you tonight to go forth tomorrow and make Liberty University proud,” he said. “But I am challenging you to go from this great school and make Jesus Christ proud.”
Did I make Mom and Dad proud? “We’re really excited. She’s been here for five years and she’s finally graduating. She loves Lynchburg, she loves Liberty and she loves the Lord.” — Bill and Jan Ward, parents of Kristen Ward “We are extremely excited. We’re so excited that we feel like we’re graduating.” — James and Nina Treadwell, parents of James Treadwell “I’m now the parent of a Liberty grad, Charles Adams, and praising the LORD for His goodness … I was thrilled he [Ben Stein] was chosen as our commencement speaker. His address was more rewarding than I expected!” — Carolee Adams
Graduates recall fond memories of Liberty
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Adam Schwenk (left), Joseph Cline (middle) and Nathan Scharoff graduated from Liberty in May. BY e r i c b r own
In his parting notes to the Class of 2009, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. said he was surprised by how many students were “second-generation Liberty students, children of Liberty alumni.” He spoke of meeting two seniors at the annual Senior Picnic at his farm who told him “they were honored to be a part of the Class of 2009 because of the historic transition that occurred during their tenure here.” One of those students, Adam Schwenk, is a 2009 graduate whose mother attended LU in the mid 1970s. Schwenk says the Class of 2009 is unique because students were able to spend their first two years under Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. and the latter two under Jerry Falwell, Jr. “We have seen the transformation of Campus North and the transition into a campus that is no longer in debt and can pursue things like a great law school and school of engineering,” he said.
Schwenk’s friend Joseph Cline, a biblical studies major, remembers meeting Falwell, Sr. at Thomas Road Baptist Church late one afternoon. While posing for a picture together, the alumnus said he received a playful punch in the stomach from LU’s founder. As a former member of Liberty’s club hockey team, Cline can also recount the days before the completion of LU’s LaHaye Ice Center, when the team travelled to Roanoke to practice and play games. The graduate noted the many changes that have taken place since he first arrived. “Everything is flourishing,” he said. “Dr. Falwell always said, ‘Don’t quit,’ and the school demonstrated that. “Now, you can see the fruit of his perseverance.” Nathan Scharoff, a 2009 history graduate and a friend of Schwenk and Cline’s, told Falwell at the picnic how he personally heard Dr. Falwell’s words of wisdom regarding perseverance a week and a half before his death. Scharoff — on a dare from fellow classmates — flagged down
Dr. Falwell’s GMC Denali on campus and asked for a ride. Upon hopping into the vehicle, they struck up a conversation, one that the student is not likely to forget. Pointing to various buildings on campus, Falwell, Sr. said, “I look back now and I realize this school could not have been here without God. If you apply that principle to your life, you’ll succeed.” “It was a memory I’ll take with me for the rest of my life,” Scharoff said. “He was the meekest man I had ever met.” Falwell, Jr. said the Class of 2009 ushered in a new era, but the teachings of LU’s first generation — the years under Falwell, Sr.’s leadership — will live on. “Many seniors have commented to me that they were greatly encouraged by my father’s constant admonition to them to never quit,” he stated. “We continue to stress the importance of perseverance, but nobody could preach the ‘Don’t quit’ sermon quite like my father could because he lived his entire life according to that principle.” li b e rty j o u r nal
Q &A with Ben Stein BY te r esa d u n ham p h oto g r ap hy by j e r o m e st u r m
Less than an hour before Ben Stein took the stage as the 2009 Liberty University Commencement speaker, he peered out a high window in the Football Operations Center overlooking Williams Stadium. His biggest worry: “I hope it doesn’t rain.” The man known for his “Clear Eyes” commercials, monotone delivery of classic lines in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and his game show persona on “Win Ben Stein’s Money” planned on showing a more serious side of himself as guest speaker. His speech would focus on creationism, patriotism and value for humanity. For him, it was refreshing to be in a place where God isn’t used as a curse word. Stein, 64, had been invited to speak at LU mainly because of his 2008 documentary, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” that challenges the scientific community’s discrimination against those who believe in intelligent design. He would later tell the audience about the rage he endured when the film went public: “The namecalling was beyond anything I’ve ever seen, and I’ve worked for Richard Nixon, and I’ve been called a lot of names.” In the meantime, the sneaker-clad celebrity surveyed the clouds and glanced around the crowd gathering outside. Then he settled in for a brief Q&A session with Liberty Journal. Besides complimenting LU on its warm, friendly and intelligent students and staff, Stein praised the organization of the university and said LU’s graduation ran more smoothly than most commencements he’d ever
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attended. Here are a few of the questions he fielded.
Q: What is your impression of Liberty University thus far? A: I wish we had 100 more like it putting out 100 times more graduates. We need people who are more conscious of ethical values and ethical duties and less conscious of making a quick buck. … We have a shortage of jobs [in America]; we have a shortage of lendable funds; we have a shortage of capable people in the bank industry — but we mostly have a shortage of righteousness. It’s like what my mother used to say when people would say to her the real problem in America is junk food. She would say, “The real problem is junk thinking.” And you don’t have much junk thinking here [at LU]. You have good, healthy thinking here.
Q: Why did you choose to speak at Liberty’s Commencement? A: Because [Liberty University founder] Jerry Falwell is probably one of the greatest men in the history of the United States. Because he’s certainly one of the greatest of the 20th and 21st century. His stands on the right to life, on responsible government — protecting the constitution and protecting the life of the unborn — I believe are a shining beacon of decency, compassion, love and understanding of the human spirit for all eternity. I think he is a man whose name will shine in glory in this country for as long as there is a United States.
Q: What is the overall message that you hope students will take away from your speech today? A: That they should be extremely grateful to live in the United States of America. They should be extremely grateful we have a constitution that protects us. I think the main message people take away from me is that there’s a lot of anger, a lot of rage against God. There’s a lot of rage against people who believe in God. There’s a lot of fear on the part of the intellectual establishment in this country, fear directed toward any kind of belief in God … . The powers that be in this country are not at all friendly to belief in God, and we’re going to have to stand up for belief in God if we’re going to save ourselves and save this country.
Q: You’ve written humor books about “How to Ruin Your Life” and “How to Ruin Your Love Life,” but what is your most honest piece of advice for our graduates as they strive toward success in life? A: Faith in God, belief in moral principles, belief in the principles that Dr. Falwell so well described and practiced in his own life. Belief in personal responsibility and personal discipline, hard work, thrift, enterprise, imagination — those things will get us through.
Q: Tell me about “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” the documentary about creationism versus evolution that you co-wrote and hosted. How has it impacted the culture in positive ways?
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Words of wisdom from Ben Stein at Commencement: “It’s a wonderful thing to be in a place where you can say the truth, and one of the truths is that in this country you can say any curse word, any swear word, any terrible word you want to say on television. The only words that you cannot say are God and Jesus Christ, and now I’m in a place where you can say that and not have it be a swear word.” Though Stein is Jewish, he is undeniably proud to live in a Christian nation — and he begs to differ with anyone who says America is not a Christian nation. “If it’s not, I’d like to know what kind of a country it is because I don’t see any other kind of country that would be as welcoming, kind and generous to its own people and the whole rest of the world as the Christian United States of America, and I’m very, very glad to be in a place where I can say that,” he told the crowd. Throughout his speech, he sipped Throat Coat tea and displayed some unique improvisational skills. For example, when he spoke about the theory of evolution, he said, “It would be the approximate equivalent of a tornado passing over a junk yard and leaving a fully finished 777 jetliner in an airport right next to it” — and a loud plane simultaneously flew over the Commencement crowd. A little bug also set Stein up perfectly for part of his speech. He told the audience, “You are not just a dot. You are not just an insect,” as he literally swatted at an insect. “Probably shouldn’t have killed that insect,” he joked. From honor for the military to honor for mothers on Mother’s Day weekend, Stein’s sentiments also included his favorite Bible verse: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (Matthew 5:13)
A: I’m not sure that it has impacted the culture as much as we had hoped it would, but I think it has reached a lot of people who thought they were alone. What we said was, “Why are people being thrown out of school jobs, university teaching jobs, for saying that maybe there was an intelligent designer who designed life and designed the universe … when there is no clear evidence that anything else was responsible?” The evolutionists and Darwinists and neo-Darwinists
say, “It couldn’t have been God; it has to have been evolution; it has to have been random chance acts,” but they cannot pin down any mechanism by which life began, cannot pin down any mechanism by which the cell got to be so complicated. In that case, if they don’t have any other explanation, why are they so hostile to the idea of a designer? Why won’t that even be allowed to be discussed? And, obviously, the reason is that it is not up to a science but a kind of intellectual dictatorship … .
Q: What do you believe has been your greatest blessing in life? A: Waking up every morning and being in the United States of America — it’s a gift beyond words. I can’t even describe to you what it’s like as a Jew, a person whose ethnic subgroup has been tortured and persecuted all over the world, to wake up in the United States of America with the blessings of freedom and liberty and protection of laws ... . I’d say second after that is my wife, who is a living, breathing saint, and my parents who are wonderful, godly people. For coverage of Ben Stein’s 2009 Liberty University Commencement speech, visit www.liberty.edu/newsAR CHIVES. Commencement exercises, including his speech, may be viewed at www.liberty.edu/streaming.
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After looking at a state school, I found what I truly wanted at Liberty University. The opportunities Iâ€™ve had to pursue my major in are amazing! The firm biblical foundation has allowed me to develop my passion for helping people, and God has given me a true calling. My name is and I am a Champion for Christ.
Arthur S. Demoss Learning Center, Main Campus
Training Champions for Christ Since 1971
Champions for Christ
In 1971, Dr. Jerry Falwell founded a university that he envisioned could one day be the Notre Dame for Evangelical Christians.
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His desire was to provide a Christ-centered institution of higher education that would exceed expectations of supporters and critics alike. Moving forward on faith and against much opposition, Dr. Falwell pushed for world-class academics, athletics, spiritual life and student life programs. In 1973, he preached a sermon challenging young people to run the race like Paul in Philippians — to be “Champions for Christ.” Thirty-six years later, the dream is being realized, with 20 Division I athletic programs, some of which have claimed the Big South title year after year; a 5,000-acre campus, 3 million square feet of facilities, including a Student Union with six basketball courts, an ice rink, and a spiritual life program that connects every student to discipleship programs and opportunities for spiritual growth. Under the leadership of Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. the university has continued to travel down the path of Christian excellence and hold to the founding mission of “Training Champions for Christ.” Liberty University stands alone in its class as the leading Christian university for undergraduate and graduate students residentially and online, including a
premier seminary and law school. With more than 60 academic programs and 48,000 students, Liberty University offers an affordable education without sacrificing its mission. The more than 100,000 alumni are part of the wonderful reality of Dr. Falwell’s vision. In this issue we are featuring a range of Champions for Christ, from Dr. Falwell’s youngest son, Thomas Road Baptist Church pastor Jonathan Falwell, to a rising senior volleyball player and a Romanian student with a heart for missions. These features represent some of the many facets of what makes a true Champion for Christ. Liberty Journal will introduce you to even more Champions for Christ in many issues to come — highlighting people who embody faith, courage, hope, compassion, talent and determination. Each student, alumnus, faculty, staff member and friend of Liberty has a story to tell of how God has used Dr. Falwell’s vision to impact their lives and the lives of those around them. This issue is dedicated to you, the Champions for Christ who have made this dream a reality. Without your faithful support this could not have happened. li b e rty j o u r nal
Jonathan Falwell leads TRBC into its second generation
BY M itz i B i b le p h oto g r ap hy by Le s s c h o f e r an d j e r o m e st u r m
Already a booming church blessed beyond measure with a new facility on Liberty Mountain, the recent stories coming out of the 22,000-member Thomas Road Baptist Church still amaze its pastor. “Lives are being changed, people are getting saved and churches are getting planted — all coming right out of Thomas Road Baptist Church. It’s still happening,” said the Rev. Jonathan Falwell. “That’s a huge statement: to think that the founder, the person who created all of that is gone, yet, ‘it’s still happening.’” The Rev. Jonathan Falwell became senior pastor shortly following his father’s death on May 15, 2007, even preaching the Sunday following his death but prior to his funeral. When he’s not in the pulpit or in meetings at the office, he keeps a rigorous travelling schedule, speaking at conferences, ministry training centers and conventions all over the country and, most recently, Israel. He has published two books since he became senior pastor: “Innovate Church,” written with other TRBC leaders, and “One Great Truth: Finding Your Answers to Life.” His commitment to the ongoing work at TRBC is obvious in the long list of projects accomplished there in just two years. Outreach projects in and around Lynchburg have shown that he is intent on reaching the community outside the church doors. “This past fall, we had over 2,700 of our members involved [in community service projects],” Falwell said. “We built numerous
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playgrounds for community centers and public schools. We rebuilt homes that were falling down for people who couldn’t afford to do so. We provided truckloads of food to families in the community.” Community group classes on Wednesday nights continue to reach out to the unchurched, as everyone from the NASCAR enthusiast to the fly fisherman to the knitter and scrapbooker have had a chance to hear the Gospel and many have been saved through that ministry. But it’s not just the local community that members are reaching out to. TRBC has spearheaded outreach projects all over the country — and world. In the U.S., members are helping to rebuild a church in San Leon, Texas, that was destroyed in a hurricane by raising $50,000 and sending out work crews. In Iraq, TRBC is working on planting four churches. When TBN began broadcasting services from TRBC last year, 2.3 billion more homes were being reached worldwide. Now, the church has taken on perhaps its largest mission project ever as it announced a merger this spring with Gleaning for the World, a humanitarian organization assisting millions of people in 57 nations around the world who suffer from poverty, hunger, sickness and natural disasters. But for Falwell, a 1988 alumnus of Liberty University, none of this could have been
accomplished without the strong foundation his father laid, with God’s supreme guidance. And on a personal level, he credits Liberty University — built on his father’s vision to “train Champions for Christ” — for making him the Champion that he is in ministry today. He recalls his Dad using the “Champion” phrase as far back as he can remember. “It was a rare occasion that he didn’t mention those words to the student body; it’s rare that he didn’t mention it every time he went out and spoke when I traveled with him all over America, as well as when he spoke at Thomas Road,” he said. The phrase wraps up in a few words the original vision Dr. Jerry Falwell had for the university: he wanted every student to leave Liberty with a passion for reaching the world for Christ. “That was something he purposefully talked about every occasion he could because he wanted to make sure people like me, people like our professors, people like our staff, and people like our students at the time and students who would show up in years to come would always understand … that that is what Liberty University is all about,” Jonathan Falwell said. Jonathan Falwell is serving his alma mater by helping to ensure that pag e 16
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vision never blurs. As Vice Chancellor for Spiritual Affairs, he serves as an advisor to his older brother, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., on matters of faith and practice. “I rely on Jonathan and other elders at Thomas Road Baptist Church for advice on issues that impact the spiritual mission and doctrinal purity of Liberty University,” the chancellor said. “The university has a strong board of trustees and faculty that are committed to the university’s original mission but, if that ever changes, the church creates one more layer of protection to prevent Liberty from straying away from its Biblical roots as so many other universities have done.” The chancellor often consults with his brother on what speakers or musical groups to bring to campus. Liberty’s campus pastors also look to Jonathan Falwell and TRBC as their ecclesiastical authority. The partnership with the church and college is something that is quite unique — and lasting. “You can go back and look at the model Dad had years ago, that the church gave birth to the university,” Jonathan Falwell said. “Dad saw Liberty University and the Liberty Christian school system, which includes LCA (Liberty Christian Academy) and LU, as nothing more than one more tier, one more offshoot of a local church.” Before the university became selfsupporting and grew much larger than its mother church both in facilities and in revenues, it was much like other ministries that the church supported — its children’s ministry, student ministry, men’s and women’s ministries, for example, he said. Now fully supported on its own but still located at the church’s doorstep, the university continues to reap benefits — and vice versa — from the partnership. “By having a local church tied to the university and being the spiritual water of the university, it’s something I think will benefit the university for years to come,” Jonathan Falwell said. At Thomas Road, Liberty students have
“an opportunity to see a successful local church and get involved in it,” he said. “It gives them one more opportunity for service and for worship.” Having the students so nearby, even though they participate in separate services on campus every Wednesday and Sunday and convocation three times a week, “brings life, it brings energy, it brings excitement” to the church, Falwell said. “It still adds a significant level of energy to everything that we’re doing (at TRBC).” He said Thomas Road can draw on the wisdom and knowledge of Liberty’s faculty, too, as many have remained faithful church members: “People like Elmer Towns (Liberty co-founder and Dean of Religion),” he said. “Elmer’s here because of Liberty, but you look at 38 years where he’s been a part of Thomas Road and added such incredible value to the church. Harold Willmington — for 37 years. … You go to any pastor’s office in the world and you’ll find ‘Willmington’s Guide to the Bible;’ and he’s sitting in our services; he’s part of our services; he’s teaching in our classrooms; he’s somebody the world looks to for information. “I’ve often said, ‘With Elmer Towns and Harold Willmington around, I’ll never have to get a Ph.D., all I’ll do is just read their stuff,’” he said, laughing. It’s obvious the pastor is proud of his father’s legacy and will do all he can to see that the original mission is fulfilled at TRBC and in the lives of Liberty students every day. “Look back to all of the movements and the churches and the schools and the ministries that have been started in the last 50 years around this country, and the ones still
“Whenever he [Dr. Jerry Falwell] mentioned the words ‘Liberty University,’ somewhere in that conversation was ‘training young champions for Christ.’ It wasn’t a flippant phrase that he just happened to come up with — it’s something that was purposeful, intentional and it was often.” — Rev. Jonathan Falwell happening after the person who founded it is gone are only a handful,” he said. “But yet it’s still happening here every day. To me, that probably is the greatest testament to who my Dad was — he built something that transcended him. And that’s huge. Huge, huge, huge.”
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5/6/09 11:54 AM
Biology gone barefoot Professor teaches from creationism view BY te r esa d u n ham p h oto g r ap hy by j e r o m e stu r m
Mainstream is not a word that describes Dr. Daniel Howell. A dedicated Christian since age 9, the LU associate professor of biology stands out from his colleagues at other universities because he believes in young Earth creationism instead of evolution — and he’s not afraid to teach it in the classroom. “We talk about evolution at this university probably as much as evolutionists do at [a state school], but we do it with the freedom of saying, ‘It’s wrong, and here is why it’s wrong,’” he said. “And I can teach human anatomy where virtually every day it’s mentioned in the course that God designed this.” Howell believes this method of teaching, combined with his ability to relate to the students, is his strongest contribution to Training Champions for Christ. The 39-year-old doesn’t stand out solely in academia, though. “I was the only person in the Virginia 10-Miler that I noticed without shoes on. That’s a little bit odd, and you’ve got to be able to take it,” said Howell, an avid runner who leads a Barefoot Hikers group. Though Liberty University is primarily a teaching school rather than a research institution, Howell enjoys doing some scientific research individually and with his students — and one of the topics he’s studying is the benefit of not wearing shoes. “I’ve run barefoot almost two years now. I won’t go back to shoes,” he said. “The foot
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About Dr. Howell: • Associate professor of biology at Liberty • Received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech • Performed post-doctoral research at Duke University Medical Center and scientific research at McGill University is much better designed than the shoe. You step on a rock or a root, and the hard sole of the shoe does this [twist] and the ankle takes the brunt of that. I was always getting sprained ankles and twisted ankles before.” Howell did a lot of academic reading and Internet research to learn about the benefits of going barefoot and how to do it correctly without injuring himself — and now he can even run on gravel. “Virtually every foot ailment in Western society can be traced back to the shoe,” he said, listing foot maladies that rarely exist in shoeless cultures. Shoes are like casts, he said, and they make the feet lazy. He recently compiled his research into a book tentatively called “The Bare Facts about Shoes, Your Feet and Your Health,” and he is currently in
negotiations with Hunter House for publication. One of the book illustrations will show how a woman’s high heels literally changed the shape of her feet over time. He also wrote a 422-page manual for his anatomy and physiology classes, including nearly 500 original illustrations that the talented professor drew himself. He’s successfully using the manual in his classes for the first time this year. The company that published it even hinted that they might want to market it to other schools beyond Liberty. One of the lab assignments in his manual requires students to measure their foot arches and, as Howell was exploring the subject, he discovered a way to measure arches that is more efficient than currently published methods. He eventually plans on unveiling his highly accurate technique for the scientific community. He’s also exploring a hypothesis that shoes make foot arches fall over time and that running or walking barefoot can strengthen the arches and raise them. “Flat feet and fallen arches are epidemic in our culture. I’d like to see if what I think I’ve noticed in my own feet is real and can be reproduced, and I suspect that it can. I want to turn that into a real research project,” he said. pag e 20
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To learn more about Dr. Howell’s research or barefoot hiking, email him at email@example.com.
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Feet aren’t his only focus, though. He’s also studying a certain protein in cyanobacteria that seems to impact circadian rhythms. In more basic terms, he’s exploring how a protein in algae could impact its sleep-andwake cycle. “I like that project because students can get involved and help me,” he said. His cyanobacteria study is basic research at this point, he said, but perhaps it could someday provide the building blocks to help people whose circadian rhythms aren’t on the typical 24-hour cycle. For Howell, research has been a passion ever since his graduate studies days. A Lynchburg native, he earned his bachelor’s degree at Old Dominion University and later a Ph.D. at Virginia Tech — a school known for research. Then he began post-doctoral research at Duke University Medical Center, exploring a protein involved in cystic fibrosis. His research later took him to McGill University in Montreal, Canada, but eventually the scholar who’d traveled far and wide was ready to come home. “After my graduate studies and my postdoctoral studies, I was looking for a ‘real job’— a faculty job. Liberty was at the top of the list. I knew it was not only Christian but an exciting place to be,” said Howell, who has a wife, Carla, and three children, ages 4 to 10. Sitting in his office in the Science Hall recently, Howell held up a rock — his “memory rock” — and said it reminds him of how he came to LU. On the smooth rock, he’d drawn two butterflies and written “A Way Home.”
“I really believe the Lord led me here,” he said, as he began to tell the story behind the rock. When he was in Montreal, he explained, he was praying about a job. He knew he wanted to come to LU, but the university wasn’t hiring at the time. One day as he rode home from McGill University on a city bus, he was praying and listening to a song on his headphones. The lyrics asked God to send a butterfly or two if He could hear the singer’s prayers — and at that moment, Howell prayed those same lyrics to God. “I said, ‘Lord, if you hear me, just show me a butterfly or two. Just show me something,’” he remembered. When the bus came to his stop, he walked a few blocks to his house and looked at the screen door. There on the door, his oldest daughter had hung a “Dear Daddy” drawing with two butterflies on it. “I knew He heard me and that He was going to answer that prayer,” Howell said. A few months later, Howell began his job at LU. “I believe the Lord directed all of those steps,” he said. “Maybe I over-spiritualize, [but] I don’t think so. I think I prayed for a butterfly, and God showed me a butterfly through my little girl.” That was 2003, and six years later he’s still thrilled to be at LU teaching anatomy and physiology, chemistry and biochemistry. “It’s more than I was hoping for. I love this university more now than I did six years ago.”
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Player to Coach Volleyball sensation hopes to share skills after college BY E r i c B r own p h oto g r ap hy by Le s S c h o f e r
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When recruiting new athletes to build up their programs, NCAA Division I coaches often go through a detailed process with each prospect.
For Liberty University Head Volleyball Coach Shane Pinder, the quest to find a special player to build his team around was no exception. Fairly new to the job, he was willing to go the extra mile — even if that one mile turned into 3,000. After receiving a recruiting tape and inquiry emails from Kallie Corbin, a talented high school setter from Beaverton, Ore., Pinder wanted to see the prospective player in person. The coach boarded a plane, flew out to California to talk with other recruits and then drove two hours to an Oregon YMCA to watch Corbin play. From the moment the setter stepped onto the court, it did not take long for Pinder to reach his verdict. “The second I saw her touch the ball I said, ‘It’s a done deal,’” he recalled. “I didn’t even need to see her play.” Upon graduating from high school, Corbin joined the Lady Flames roster, passing up offers from household names such as Florida State, UCLA and Oregon. Now heading into her senior year at Liberty, the setter has rewritten the program’s record books, becoming the first player in school history to tally over 3,500 assists and 1,000 digs. Corbin’s exceptional play has helped the Lady Flames capture back-to-back Big South Conference titles en route to two first-round NCAA volleyball tournament appearances in the 2007 and 2008 seasons. In its first trip to the tournament since 2001, Liberty managed to
take a set from No. 10 California before falling to the University of California, 1-3. On the bus ride back to Lynchburg, Va., the Lady Flames were upbeat, knowing they had played well against an eventual Final Four team. Last season, Liberty produced a similar result with a different effect, squaring off against another Final Four team in No. 4 Nebraska. Mirroring their 2007 performance, the Lady Flames won a set against the Cornhuskers, but dropped the match 1-3. This time, the ride back home was far more somber than the previous year. “We left there hurting,” Corbin said. “After that second set we were [telling ourselves], ‘We can do this.’” Using the defeat as motivation, Corbin and the Lady Flames are seeking a three-peat as Big South Champions and another shot at advancing in the NCAA tournament in 2009. “We take one game at a time, so we have to win our conference, but we really want to win that first round,” Corbin stated. “It’s going to hurt to leave here if we don’t.” Although volleyball is one of Corbin’s passions, she does not define herself by her athletic prowess. Away from the nets, she is a true servant, who enjoys helping and motivating others. This past February, Corbin and other LU athletes organized and participated in Liberty’s first Polar Plunge, a fundraising pag e 24
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event that supports the Special Olympics. The volleyball player gritted her teeth as she jumped into a freezing cold lake at Camp Hydaway on Liberty Mountain. Together, she and 14 other plungers raised $2,400 for the Lynchburg Special Olympics Program. Instead of placing herself on a proverbial pedestal, Corbin uses athletics as a platform to share Christ’s love with others. During an LU basketball game this past season, she received an opportunity to meet and interact with local Special Olympics team members. Karyl Bacon, Corbin’s teammate and close friend, noted the Oregon native’s natural ability to put a smile on the faces of those she encounters. Since childhood, Corbin has possessed a love for musical theater and enjoys attending performances and reading scripts. If Corbin’s volleyball career were a theatrical production, she would certainly be a star of the show. However, once her collegiate days are over, Corbin’s role will change. No longer will she dance on the grand stage of volleyball courts around the country, but instead will likely take a seat in the director’s chair as a college coach. “I was the rebellious person and said I would never coach, because that’s what my dad said I would always do,” she stated. “But that’s something that has become a goal for me. I really do want to coach volleyball — hopefully in Division I, someday.” After graduation, Corbin hopes to begin working as a graduate assistant at
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Abilene Christian University, a Division II school in Texas. From there, she aspires to climb the coaching ranks while influencing the lives of collegiate volleyball players on and off the court. Before she steps into the coaching scene, the upcoming senior must prepare for her closing act as Liberty’s starting setter. During the offseason, Corbin and her teammates are working hard to produce an award-winning 2009 campaign. “Every weight that we lift, every ball that we hit, we’re training to be able to beat whoever we’re going to be placed against this year,” Corbin said. “We want to be at a level field or higher.” Since the end of last year, Pinder has tried to keep the concept of finishing strong fresh in Corbin’s mind. Fully aware of his player’s appreciation for the arts, the coach looked at her following the 2008 season and said, “You know what they say about theater — it’s all about your encore.” If her previous three seasons are any indication of what this year could bring, fans are in for a special treat when Corbin takes the court this August for the start of her final performance. “She’s a committed individual in everything she does,” Pinder said. “The bigger the match, the bigger the setting, the bigger the stage — she rises to the occasion.” “I think the Liberty volleyball community is excited to see what she pulls off in that last year. Come opening day, she’ll be ready.”
“I think it [being a champion] is having a goal that you’ve been praying about, something that is Christcentered, and saying, ‘I’m going to reach for that goal.’ What Liberty is doing is training you to reach for those goals.” —Kallie Corbin
Changing Culture Missions-minded senior holds ties to homeland of Romania BY SA R A H F U N D E R B U R K E p h oto g r a p hy by j e r o m e stur m
Campioni Pentru Hristos! That means champions for Christ in Romanian, one of several languages familiar to Liberty University senior Philip Luca. Born in Brasov, Romania, in 1986, Luca grew up in the former communist country where religious freedom is still a recent concept. As a child, his family members were some of the few Baptists living in Romania, with over 87 percent of the population being Christian Eastern Orthodox and another 5 percent being Roman Catholic. “My grandma was saved in our village, which was very hard for her and for my grandfather because they were very ostracized,” Luca said. “For my parents, it was a bit easier, although under communism they were persecuted, especially my dad; he was sent to a canal to dig with the Army because he didn’t want to give his Bible away.” Luca became a Christian when he was 12, and although he faced some stigma at school for being Baptist, it was not as harsh as what his parents and grandparents experienced. “People don’t really know about us
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[Baptists] there,” Luca said. “I wouldn’t say I was persecuted, just looked weird upon.” Although he did not come to the United States until he was 19 and entering his freshman year at LU, he learned English long before ever stepping foot on American soil, thanks to some unusual and very famous teachers: Bugs Bunny and the “Cartoon Network” cast. “In school we were taught English since kindergarten … but you really learn English from watching TV and watching movies because the good movies, at least, are all in English,” Luca said. “And from cool music … You kind of learn it from the pop culture, so to speak.” Luca ended up at Liberty University because of the encouragement of two alumni, older sister Patricia and a cousin, but he said that Dr. Jerry Falwell may have been responsible for Romanian students in general finding out about Liberty. “I hear that in the ’90s, right after
communism fell, Jerry [Falwell] went to Romania and gave 40 [Liberty University] scholarships away and people came [to LU] and then their relatives came, and so on,” Luca said. During his sophomore year at Liberty, in 2007, Luca began considering organizing a mission trip to his native country. “I just felt God laying it on my heart that I should plan a mission trip back home to Romania because I know the people and I know the language.” After talking to some friends, and trying to see how much student interest there would be in the trip, Luca made the decision to trust God and start planning it. Although he had been on a mission trip his freshman year to New York, organizing an international trip was much more involved. “I started everything from scratch,” Luca said. “I had no idea how to put a mission trip together. There’s no booklet that I knew of that explained it.” pag e 28
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Philip Luca poses with Liberty friends (from left) Lauren Seamon, Valerie Gardner, Hannah Swanson, Jessica Sifford and Laura Faidley in Romania.
“A Champion for Christ is somebody who loves Jesus above everything else and wants to pay their price to search for and live the truth.” — Philip Luca
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About 13 students signed up for the trip, and Luca organized in-depth training sessions. Then, about a week out from the scheduled departure date, there was a major hiccup in Luca’s plans. “My passport never came through,” Luca said. “It was supposed to have come months before that [date].” Rather than call off the whole trip, or send the students over without a guide, Luca asked his best friend, Dorin Captari, another Romanian student at LU, if he would lead the trip. “My best friend was going to Romania just to see his parents, and I talked to him about a week prior [to the departure date] and said, ‘Buddy I need you to lead this trip if my passport doesn’t come through,’” Luca said. Captari agreed, and although Luca remained in the U.S., the rest of the group successfully made it to Romania and spent 10 days running a Vacation Bible School for gypsy and local children in Brasov. Although passport issues forced him to miss the 2007 trip, Luca did eventually receive the document, and was able to visit Romania with Liberty friends in 2008. He is currently planning a second mission trip to Romania this summer. “We’ll be working with the orphans in Romania doing some urban ministry and working with a local church to do outreach,” he said. On campus Luca holds down two jobs: one as a quiet studies monitor in a computer lab in DeMoss Hall and another as a Resident Assistant (RA).
“I wanted to be involved with the student leadership on campus so I started out being an SLD [Student Life Director], and then I moved into an RA position,” Luca said. “I think half the stuff I have learned at Liberty has come from being an RA.” Working as an RA has strengthened Luca’s people skills and problem-solving skills — two qualities that are important to him because he hopes to be a pastor some day. “It’s really good life training,” Luca said of being an RA. “It makes you speak up; it makes you learn how to confront people.” This spring he was dual enrolled in Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary courses and the final undergrad course requirements to complete his Biblical Studies major and Computer Science minor. Although he enjoys dorm activities and prayer groups, his favorite part of working as an RA initially sounds a bit unusual. “I just love room checks; it’s so cool. Sometimes I spend an hour doing them,” Luca said. His interest in room checks doesn’t lie in a love of punctuality and enforcing Liberty’s curfew, but rather in getting to know the students living in his hall. “I just love to talk to the guys … and that’s a time when they’re open about their lives,” Luca said. “Every now and then you find somebody who is looking for a good friend or a good talk.” Luca will enter his third year as an RA this fall, when he also begins taking Seminary courses full time. “I think it’s the people and friendships that make this place.”
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Sharing in the Spirit Administrator testifies to Libertyâ€™s impact on students â€” and himself BY M itz i B i b le p h oto g r ap h y by j e r o m e stu r m
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Reliving memories of 35 years at Liberty University, it is hard for Mark Hine to hold back the tears. It was at Liberty where he felt God’s call on his life for the ministry — and it is at Liberty where that early call became his life’s work. Hine, now Liberty’s Vice President for Student Affairs, made his first trip to Liberty in spring 1973 for a youth conference. He tears up as he recalls the very moment he made that firm commitment to God. “In a service in the old Pate Chapel, I came to the realization that there was a call on my life to spend my life in Christian ministry someway, somehow. I had not a clue how,” he said. “But at the altar, after a very spirit-filled service, I made a commitment to God, that I would follow his plan for my life, whatever that entailed — never knowing that it would be here at the university.” He went on to attend Liberty, where he graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in Youth degree. He began working full time in Student Affairs in fall 1979 as a Resident Director while earning his Master of Divinity degree at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary; he graduated in 1983. He stayed on to work with Student Affairs, gradually being promoted to Associate Dean of Men, Dean of Graduate and Commuter Students, Acting Dean of Men, Dean of Students, Associate Vice President for Student Development and finally Vice President for Student Affairs, which he has held for 15 years. He completed his Doctor of Ministry degree in May 2003. The departments he oversees include the Office of Student Conduct, the Student Care Office, Center for Multicultural Enrichment, Office of Commuter Affairs,
Office of Student Housing, Army and Air Force ROTC, Office of Parent and Family Connections and the Student Affairs Spiritual Life Assessment Office. “I look at myself as a guide to the various departments within the divisions of Student Affairs,” he said. “I have a wonderful team of directors. We meet on a weekly basis; we talk about what we can improve on, what we can change, how we can better carry out the mission of Training Champions for Christ.” But he said his job isn’t just about meeting with other college administrators in his office in the executive suites in Campus North. He tries to stay as connected with students as possible, meeting weekly with the Student Government Association president and taking phone calls from parents and students when issues arise. “I try to keep in contact with students so it’s not like I’m sitting in an ivory tower … I really do know what’s going on.” Especially in the area of student conduct and student care, Hine gets to use his ministry training by serving as a mentor and helping guide students down the right path. In enforcing the Liberty Way, Liberty’s honor code and rules for behavior on campus, Hine said he views the work not as disciplinary action so much as “an opportunity for us to help students see God work in their lives and take mistakes and make them beautiful,” he said. “To me, it’s a challenge to help students see, pag e 32
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daughters be able to share in his own college experience and to see Liberty play such an important role in their spiritual lives as it did for he and his wife, Toy. “I can sit in a convocation service and my daughter, who’s a freshman now, will text me during convo and say, ‘Dad this speaker is really good,’” he said. “So now I’m watching the same spirit of Christ work in her life as the spirit worked in my other two daughters and myself. I’m watching that same tug and pull… .” When people find out Hine’s long history with the school, he said many will ask him, “A lot of things have changed; is there anything that has stayed the same?” “I always tell them, ‘Yes. Come to our convocations, come to our church services, and you’ll understand that the spirit is still in this place.’ God is still all over this place, working every day in people’s lives,” he said. “I’ve watched this place, and the same spirit that drew me in the spring of 1973 has been constant over the years. “A lot of things have changed but God has never changed … that’s why I think we can still boldly proclaim at Liberty that we’re Training Champions for Christ — because without the Holy Spirit doing the work in people’s lives, it would be an empty claim. God’s been a constant — buildings are massive and extensive now, and yes, our dress code is different,” he said laughing, “but the mission and the method to the mission — the spirit of Christ doing a work in people’s lives — is still here.”
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‘OK I’ve messed up, but there’s a way back and it involves God, and He’s working in my life.’” Watching students come to this realization, even if it is through hard lessons learned, is part of the vision of LU founder Dr. Jerry Falwell that Hine holds so dear. Looking back on his own college journey, he said Liberty taught him how, when he was away from his parents and their strong Christian upbringing (his dad was a pastor), to find his own faith and stand firm. “Liberty is about building on that [Christian upbringing], with Bible classes, classes in your major, tying that all together to have a worldview that would actually involve Christ in everything, every decision, every job interview … everything that you do is put through the framework of who Christ is in your own life personally. “That’s a building process over four years of undergraduate work, or as I did to a master’s or even to doctoral work — it’s building a house, as you will, and foundationally it started with that faith becoming, in reality, your own.” Hine said he’s grateful for the opportunity to be trained as a champion and later do the training himself. And, as a parent of three, he knows how valuable that training is. Two of his daughters, Rachel and Jessica, have graduated from Liberty and have gone on to get fulfilling jobs in their fields. His daughter Emily, 18, is a rising sophomore. He said it’s been touching to see his
“Training Champions for Christ is helping students to understand who Christ is and how He impacts every facet of your life.” — Mark Hine
C hancellor ’ s
Media’s misrepresentation of club controversy
By j e r ry falwe ll, j r.
A number of media sources recently reported that Liberty University banned Democrats from meeting on campus. One headline erroneously read: “Democrats at Liberty University forced to meet off campus.” Apparently many journalists do not let the facts get in the way of a juicy, agenda-driven story. The story was spun out of control from the beginning, when Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Virginia, called a telephone press conference to talk about the College Democrat club formed by Liberty University students. The staff sponsor for the student club, Maria Childress, appeared with the candidate. The presses began to buzz. Much of what went to print was wrong. Most journalists were interested in scooping their competitors rather than seeking the truth. Even when some reporters learned the facts, they could not bring themselves to correct their stories because the fanciful reports were just too tempting. Liberty University has not banned Democrats from campus. Nor has the Democrat club been banned from meeting. And, never has the university or its officials said that a person cannot be a Christian and a Democrat. Sorry for those who want to run with these titillating sound bites, but these are the facts. The club’s sponsor may have been the source of these erroneous reports, but one phone call to Liberty officials could have prevented all the false headlines.
The students who formed the Democrat club last October are good students. They are pro-life and believe in traditional marriage. They can continue to meet on campus. The only thing that has changed came about as part of a university-wide review of all student organizations for official recognition status. Official recognition carries with it the benefit of using the university name and funds. While this group will not be an officially recognized club, it may still meet on campus. I, along with several Liberty administrators, met recently with Maria Childress and three of the student club members and reminded them that Dr. Mark Hine had informed them in person before the press reported the story that they could meet on campus in certain facilities but that they could no longer use the university’s name or otherwise imply that the university endorsed the club. We pointed out to them that Dr. Hine’s email notifying the club of the rescission of its endorsement had simply recited the school policy that endorsed clubs must have permission to meet on campus and explained that, since their club was no longer endorsed, the policy did not apply to them. We told the students who do have proposals that would allow them to operate without supporting pro-abortion and antimarriage causes that we would consider those proposals after the club sponsor issues a retraction of her misstatements of fact and an apology to Liberty University and Dr. Mark Hine, who was falsely accused of stating that it was impossible to be a Christian and a Democrat. The group told the press on May 27 that the apology would be forthcoming in 48 hours. Liberty University is the world’s largest and fastest growing evangelical university. While many schools have faced budget shortfalls and declining enrollment, Liberty is debt free and continues to grow at a rapid rate. We now have 11,500 students on campus and nearly 38,000 students online. This fall Liberty University will exceed 50,000 total students. Parents and students support the university because they believe in its distinctly Christian identity and mission. Liberty University is
pro-life and believes that marriage between one man and one woman provides the best environment for children. Liberty University will not lend its name or financial support to any student group — Republican or Democrat — that advances causes contrary to its mission. While the students in the college Democrat club are pro-life and support traditional marriage, the constitution of the club pledged support to advance the Democratic platform and candidates. The 2008 Democratic platform has taken an extreme turn to the left on social issues. For the first time it supports federal funding of abortion and repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed overwhelmingly by a bipartisan Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton. Liberty University will not lend its name or financial support to undermine marriage or to promote abortion. While students are free to meet on campus, debate and discuss politics of every stripe, the university will remain true to its core principles and not lend its name or fund groups that work to undermine the principles that make Liberty attractive to so many people. Liberty brings many diverse speakers to campus. Last year Sen. John McCain’s brother spoke to the students along with Virginia Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine, who has been chosen as the new head of the national Democratic Party. Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke to our students this spring about how her opposition to same-sex marriage put her at odds with her family and her political allies. We encourage our students to bring positive change to all political parties, Democrats, Republicans and Independents. We hope our students challenge all political parties to remain true to the core moral values consistent with the Christian mission of the university. To blindly support any candidate solely because of party affiliation irrespective of their moral views is wrong. Liberty would never endorse a Republican student group that supported abortion rights. Liberty stands for certain core values; not for a political party. li b e rty j o u r nal
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New bookstore makes debut
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BY D o m i n i q u e Mckay
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The new Liberty University Barnes & Noble bookstore opened April 18, with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and LU Praise concert. Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. welcomed students, faculty, staff and many members of the community as the doors of Liberty’s newest academic addition to campus were opened to the public for the first time. “Barnes & Noble has been our partner since 1998, they’ve been on campus since that time,” Falwell said. “We try to
use people who are experts in the different areas rather than trying to reinvent the wheel ourselves and book selling is their expertise.” Falwell also thanked and praised the construction team for their work on the design of the new bookstore. “The architecture is something I think we need to try to make our new standard as far as academic buildings,” he said. With the goal of meeting the academic needs of students, Liberty began construction for the new 40,000-squarefoot building in May 2008. pag e 3 6 li b e rty j o u r nal
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To see more photos from the bookstoreâ€™s grand opening visit the news & events page at www.liberty.edu.
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The two-story bookstore now holds 13,000 new general reading and reference titles as well as a full service cafĂŠ that seats up to 65 people, with additional seating on an outdoor patio on the upstairs level. Downstairs, there is a special entrance facing the southside of campus where students will be able to order and pick up their textbooks. Liberty alumni will receive discounts in the new store, which will also accept the Readers Advantage Barnes & Noble discount cards. In addition to Falwell and his wife Becki, special guests at the opening included the Rev. Jonathan Falwell, who said a prayer of dedication, as well as Tim and Beverly LaHaye (above) and Macel Falwell (right), who later signed books at the grand opening.
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johnni LU Campus Pastor
“Johnnie, I’m sick and tired of the church. Jesus seems OK to me, but his followers are something else. How can I trust their God when I can’t trust those telling me to trust him?” — Amberlee
BY J o h n n i e m o o r e
Amberlee, it sounds like you’ve had quite a bad experience with Christians. If Jesus were in your shoes, he would probably be as frustrated as you are. In fact, Jesus was toughest on the “hypocrites.” His language
directed at them was very strong. In fact, at one point in Scripture Jesus addressed the Pharisees, the quintessential hypocrites of the New Testament, and he said in John 8:55, “If I said I did not [know God], I would be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word.” Jesus drew a clear delineation between those who professed faith and those whose actions actually correspond with their confession. Basically, I’m saying that you and Jesus agree with one another more than you think!
What’s most important isn’t the testimony of Jesus’ followers, but the claims of Jesus. You must begin there … with Him. We know that Jesus said that he came to “give life and to give it to its fullest.” We know about his love, the grace he demonstrated by his death and resurrection, and his compassion toward those who were poor or imprisoned by sin. Begin with Jesus, and remember that most of his followers are about as imperfect as you and I are. We all need grace because, honestly, most of us are recovering hypocrites.
j o r dan c r o ss i n g ham
Send your questions to Campus Pastor Johnnie Moore at
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“Pastor, my boss is terrible and cruel. I hate going to work, but I have to take care of my family. I just seem stuck. Help.” — Caleb Our culture pressures us to make decisions based upon our feelings rather than our priorities. Everyone wants their piece of the American dream and to live in peace and satisfaction. In actuality, we must sometimes endure certain phases of life for a good greater than our own comfort. Sometimes, discomfort must be endured in order to maintain those priorities and, in your case, to provide for your family. For now, I would suggest doing everything in your power to find a little joy in your current situation. Caleb, the Bible says a great deal about this. In 1 Peter 2:18, Peter is speaking to Christians who are forced by society into
servitude. He says, “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.” Of course, you might consider prayerfully looking for other employment, but in the meantime, you must realize how to “bear up under” the injustice of your boss and be an example of the grace of Christ. Hebrews 11:3 says, “Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
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Indoor soccer complex ready for action Donor makes year-round athletic facility a reality
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The idea for an on-campus soccer center began more than two years ago, when alumnus and donor Glen Thomas (white shirt, at left) expressed a desire to establish a facility where area youth and Liberty students could enjoy the sport year-round. BY e r i c b r own
Indoor soccer officially joined Liberty University’s gamut of activities on May 1 with the debut of the Thomas Indoor Soccer Center. Before opening the fields to students, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., donor Glen Thomas and others spoke and then christened the new facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “It is a dream come true from many years ago,” said Thomas, an LU alumnus. “Nothing will make [my family] happier than to come by and see people in here at all times of the day and night.” “This is just an exciting day for us,” Falwell said. “This is one more facility
that Liberty can be proud of and can use to recruit students.” Following the ceremony, players from local youth leagues and LU students kicked things off, taking part in the center’s first set of exhibition games. The off-the-wall action continued on May 2 with two tournaments comprised of teams coached by players from LU’s men’s and women’s soccer teams. The proceeds from each tournament went to both NCAA squads for mission trips. “It was just a great grand opening,” said Jeff Alder, Liberty men’s head soccer coach. “Just to see the joy and fun that [the students] experienced during that first weekend was priceless.
I was privileged to be a part of the event, and it was great for our men’s and women’s soccer players.” Connected to Campus North’s LaHaye Student Union, the Thomas Indoor Soccer Center is comprised of two turf fields partially surrounded by transparent walls and netting. The facility also features a spectator section, sound system, multiple televisions and wireless capability. The idea for building an on-campus soccer center began more than two years ago, when Thomas, owner of RST Marketing in Forest, Va., expressed a desire to establish a facility that would give area youth and Liberty pag e 42 li b e rty j o u r nal
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students a chance to enjoy the sport year-round. He began talking with LU officials and a partnership was formed, making the dream a reality. “I actually had a conversation with Dr. Falwell before he passed away, and he was very excited about finding a way to make this work,” Thomas said. “This is the fruit of what we brainstormed about.” Soon after an agreement was made, Thomas and Alder started travelling to various indoor soccer arenas around the country, formulating ideas as to what features Liberty’s complex should have. “We tried to take the best of the best,” Alder said. “Right away, it’s got the wow factor when you walk in … and with the
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walls and the netting, the ball is never really out of play. It’s an opportunity for college students and the kids in the community to have a true professional soccer experience indoors.” In addition to hosting intramural soccer contests, the facility is also ideal for playing flag football or lacrosse. When not in use by the university, the center will be open to youth and adult leagues in the Central Virginia area. Thomas and Alder are overseeing a program known as Soccer Mania, which will use the facility to host community leagues during the summer and winter months. The Thomas Indoor Soccer Center is the latest addition to Liberty’s Ultimate LU program, an initiative designed to
enhance club and intramural activities on campus. Falwell expressed much gratitude to Thomas and his family for their support of recreational opportunities at Liberty University. “We deeply appreciate what the Thomas family has done,” he said. “In the last decade [Glen’s father] helped us out when the university badly needed it. Now, it’s wonderful for the next generation to be building upon the sacrifices my father and Glen’s father made to keep this school in existence during those difficult days.” for more information on liberty university’s ultimate LU program visit www.liberty.edu/ultimatelu.
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Dr. Elmer Towns leads national Friend Day outreach
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Dr. Elmer Towns, Liberty University co-founder and dean of the School of Religion has developed more than 20 resource packets for church leadership education. BY M iTz i B i b le
Dr. Elmer Towns, Liberty University co-founder and dean of the School of Religion, has always shared in the late Dr. Jerry Falwell’s vision to see the local church impact the world for Christ. “They fill their church with people who are the friends of their members — those are the most reachable and most likely to join the church,” Towns said. “Friend Day is when you bring people to Christ on the arm of a friend.” The packet, written by Towns and Vernon Brady, president of Church Growth Connections, includes five weeks of devotionals and Sunday School lessons for all ages, as well as a DVD with sermons from well-known pastors, to help church members move past their fears of inviting friends and to help them unite around a church-wide effort. “It’s a momentum-builder to a great day,” Towns said. And it’s a concept that has already shown great success. At Thomas Road Baptist Church’s Friend Day in 2007, there were 2,676 visitors — of those, 58 walked forward to trust Christ
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and 39 more marked that they wanted to come up and didn’t. Senior pastor Jonathan Falwell said he personally contacted those 58 people, and he has seen a huge blessing come from just this one day of simple outreach. “We’ve had numbers of people who came on Friend Day and are now part of our church. I know some who are actually serving as Sunday School teachers, so they are on the back side now,” he said. In fact, it was at Thomas Road Baptist Church where National Friend Day was launched. Towns will not take credit for the idea, saying he got it from talking to pastors on his travels before coming to Liberty, but said the inspiration for the material came from Jerry Falwell, Sr. “Jerry had a Friend Day in the early 1970s … I would go around and explain in a pastor’s meeting how to have a Friend Day and each time I would explain it, my lecture would get longer,” Towns said. He developed the original Friend Day packet and sent 49,000 copies to churches around the country, in several different denominations. That was 25 years ago, but Towns said the
concept is catching on even more today. “For a church that’s not evangelistic and for a pastor who is not used to evangelistic preaching, this works because it’s relationship evangelism. The hot method today in evangelism is one-on-one relationships,” he said. Originally held on the third Sunday in October, Friend Day was changed to the first Sunday in November when the time change was instituted nationwide. The reason was simple: “When people have an extra hour, they are more likely to come to church,” Towns said. But churches can choose to have a Friend Day on any date. In fact, that’s what the Rev. Jonathan Falwell said is great about the material — it can be tailored to any church and the needs of its people. “Every church has a different DNA, and it’s not a cookie-cutter approach — more churches are coming on board because they’re seeing there’s lots of different ways you can do this,” he said. Brady said churches are encouraged to use the material as a “tool to help them get situated together, with the same focus, the same goal. … We’re all marching like a little army,” he said. Falwell, Towns and Brady are hoping that army gets bigger and bigger each year as Friend Day 2012 approaches. On that day (Nov. 4) the Southern Baptist Convention looks to have the biggest day of soul-winning in its history. “We’re going to ask every member of the Southern Baptist churches to bring a friend to Sunday School or church who doesn’t know Christ,” Towns said. “[Even] if half of the members would do it, it would be a great time of salvation.”
“My Friendship Connection” is available at www.elmertowns.com and www.myfriendshipconnection.com.
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TUITION IS F ROZEN FOR FALL 2009 — T HERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER T IME TO PURSUE YOUR DEG REE.
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News brief S University Happenings
In the NDT rankings, Liberty amassed 594 points, the second highest point total in school history. In CEDA, the Flames earned 196 points, setting a new school and CEDA record. 2009 marks the sixth consecutive year Liberty has claimed the American Debate Association (ADA) championship. In its history, the Liberty Debate Team has now earned 25 National Rankings Championships, including 10 in the last four years. The team only loses two seniors to graduation this year, making it the preseason favorite in next year’s sweepstakes race.
Students support rescue of child soldiers in Uganda Four Liberty students had a chance to be on The Oprah Winfrey Show on May 1 with Invisible Children, an international group that advocates on behalf of the 3,000 Ugandan children who have been kidnapped and turned into child soldiers. Kailey Spivey, Chris Neill, Randy Carroll and Olivia Reyes travelled to Chicago as part of “The Rescue,” a 100-city global rally organized by Invisible Children. The rallies were meant to increase awareness of the atrocities occurring in northern Uganda and the surrounding countries by garnering the attention of the media and a local public figure. At each city, participants symbolically “abducted” themselves to represent the child soldiers, and then camped out in a public place, waiting to be “rescued” by media and a public figure. The Liberty students demonstrated with hundreds of other “rescue riders” outside Oprah’s Harpo Studios in Chicago, the last city to be “rescued.” After a twohour stand, Oprah arrived and agreed to modify her show that day to include an interview with the organization’s leaders in front of the crowd of demonstrators.
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Spivey was one of the students who formed a new campus group this semester to support Invisible Children. She spoke in convocation, urging Liberty students to attend a rally on April 25 in Washington, D.C. LU officials sent a chartered plane to bring students home because the bus would not return in time for final exams. Liberty University students have been involved in other missions in Uganda this year. Through World Help, students collected $25,000 to pay for the expansion of a home for orphans there. Recent LU grad Sarah Pisney will be travelling to Uganda as a fulltime missionary with World Venture and several other students are doing short-term mission trips and internships there this summer.
Debate team sweeps national championships For the third time in four years, the Liberty Debate Team has accomplished a feat that no other school has been able to match — winning the sweepstakes championship in debate’s three governing organizations in a single season.
Landscaping projects make campus ‘spring’ to life
Liberty University has focused some major beautification efforts on Campus North, starting with landscaping. Stretching from the intersection of University Boulevard and Candlers Mountain Road, to Ericsson Drive in front of the Football Operations Center and LaHaye Ice Center, and toward the LU Police Department entrance on Campus North, the university has spent $30,000 on landscaping improvements. Crews started planting nearly 500 trees, including maples, oaks, red cedar and holly in those areas while students were on spring break, and bushes prior to that near the LaHaye Ice Center. At the Tilley Student Center entrance, beautification efforts included some
blacktop removal, brick porch installation, handicapped ramps, railings, planter boxes, canopy awnings and a new sign. Plans are also being made for new entrances for the Seminary, the doorway near the chancellor’s office and Campus North’s main foyer area. Long-range planning calls for an addition to the face of the LaHaye Student Union — and when the new theater in the tower of Campus North is complete, the entire area by the Tilley Student Center will be given a facelift. Gardens along the Jerry Falwell Parkway are enhancing the views of campus from U.S. 29/460. More than 20 gardens were designed and available for sponsorship by area businesses starting last year. This spring, crews planted Garden A between the entrance ramp to U.S. 460 West off Candlers Mountain Road, sponsored by Englander Transport, Inc. and England’s Stove Works, Inc. Garden K, along the parkway in front of Doc’s Diner, was also completed, and is being sponsored by Sodexo, which operates LU’s dining services and the diner. Potential sponsors can contact the LU Development Office at (866) 602-7983.
Enrollment exceeds 49,000 resident and online students Liberty University’s enrollment numbers have surpassed 49,000 in the resident and online programs for the academic year. Total enrollment stands at more than 49,000 students, compared with 38,100 students last year. This is an increase of 28 percent over last year, according to Lawrence Shackleton, Liberty’s vice president for administrative information management/registrar. Online students make up the bulk of the enrollment at 36,883 for the
academic year, an increase of 37 percent over last year. “The entire enrollement management division is very pleased with the growth LU continues to experience,” said Chris Johnson, vice president for enrollment manager.
Liberty community honors Jeffrey Taylor Seniors enjoy picnic at Falwell family farm
Jeffrey O. Taylor, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences and Kinesiology since 2000, died in a tragic accident at a Lynchburg College athletic field on Tuesday, April 28. He was honored at Liberty’s Commencement, where he was posthumously awarded his Doctor of Education, and a chair was draped with his doctoral robe. “I heard from many students what a caring and committed professor he was and how he positively impacted the lives of so many students,” Falwell said in his Commencement speech. He asked for continued prayers for Taylor’s wife, Mary Claire, and son, Jeffrey Taylor, Jr.
Liberty University’s second annual Senior picnic kicked off Saturday, May 2 at the Bedford County farm of Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. and his wife, Becki. About 1,000 seniors attended. They enjoyed a variety of activities on the lake, including swimming, wave running and fishing. In addition to a catered dinner, there were free hot-air balloon rides and sporting events, including volleyball, badminton and frisbee. Liberty’s Student Activities office hosted several games, including hula and balloon tossing competitions with gift-card prizes. Students were also entered into an iPod raffle, and free senior T-shirts were given to the first 500 guests. “The music, food and activities were awesome, and I hope the Falwells continue to host the Senior Picnic for years to come,” said senior Tim Talley.
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News brief S University Happenings
On-campus gun range opens in early March Liberty University’s on-campus gun range opened March 5, allowing students to take aim at targets using various firearms. Part of the Ultimate LU recreational initiative on campus, the range is supervised by the Liberty University Police Department, which requires shooters to pass a two-day safety course prior to accessing the facility. The range is also open to faculty and staff.
Annual awards presented at last convocation Three special awards were presented to outstanding Liberty University students at the last convocation of the year. Amanda Jo Forth and Nathaniel Saxon received the Volunteer of the Year Christian Service Award. Forth is the founder and president of Students Behind Our Soldiers, which works to send packages to American soldiers overseas; Saxon spent the past year working at Liberty’s Graduate Writing Center. Don Fanning, director of Liberty’s Center for Global Ministries, presented the David Arthur DeMoss Award to Liberty student Cameron Price (pictured at left, lower corner) for his strong commitment to and enthusiasm for cross-cultural ministries.
Liberty students participate in Red Cross Blood Drives For over 20 years Liberty University has participated in the American Red Cross Blood Drive, sponsored by the Circle K Club. In the past school year, more than 1,800 students, faculty and staff donated over 1,300 units of blood, according to Lew Weider, Liberty’s Christian/ Community Service director and its blood drive coordinator.
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Melanie Campbell, account manager for Red Cross Appalachian Blood Services and a Liberty alumna, said: “LU is one of the best colleges in our region for giving back to the community through blood donations. The students, faculty and staff put forth an amazing effort to make this happen for the Red Cross.”
Liberty alumni invited to free campus event The Alumni Relations Office has launched a program to reach out and reconnect with alumni living in the zip codes starting with 245 — the largest group of Liberty alumni. The first official event of the “245 Initiative” will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1 on campus. The LaHaye Student Union, LaHaye Ice
Center, Tilley Student Center, the new Thomas Indoor Soccer Center, and the East Campus clubhouse and outdoor pool will be open and available to all 245 alumni and their families for free. Food and drinks will be provided.
Liberty adds men’s and women’s crew club teams As the list of recreational activities at Liberty continues to grow, members of the university’s newest club sport are testing the waters in preparation for competitions this fall. Since forming in March, LU’s men’s and women’s crew teams have been training four days each week in hopes of rowing against established clubs such as James Madison University, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia and North Carolina.
If you liked “Friend Day” …You will love “My Friendship Connection!”
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Plan now for fall outreach. Look for us at
Easy to follow, detailed information guides you through preparation, implementation and follow-up helping you mobilize your church for outreach. But don’t just take our word for it. Hundreds of pastors are reporting great results... “We typically have 480 in our worship services, but on Connection Sunday we had 760 and 8 people trusted Christ as Savior! Since November we have baptized 17 and attendance is still up by 60 to 70. There is a great momentum. Praise God!” - Greg Palmer, Minister of Education, North Main Baptist Church “Our church has never been more unified around the Great Commission. As Pastor, I was already overwhelmed by what was happening, but November 2nd shook me to the core. The entire church came together under the banner of reaching their friends.” - Pastor Derek, Lexington Baptist Temple, Lexington KY 23 Wesley Place • Lynchburg, VA • 24502 • (434) 528-6549 www.myfriendshipconnection.com
Exodus ministry team prepares for summer camps
Last summer Liberty University’s musical ministry team, Exodus, lived up to its name by journeying to the West Coast. They spent their summer ministering to young people as the in-house worship band at Hume Lake Christian Camp in California, and along the way, they encouraged campers to come to LU. Their efforts yielded approximately 2,000 applications to LU and more than 6,000 inquiry cards about attending the university – a huge success. Now the band is hoping to have a similar recruitment harvest closer to home. Focusing on LU’s southern “feeder states” where most students typically come from — the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Virginia — the band will travel to summer camps and churches for 10 weeks to encourage young people and spread the word about Liberty. “I think it’s going to be really lucrative and excellent in terms of recruitment because we’re going to be hitting a lot of different places,” said Travis Doucette, summer tour coordinator and band director for LU’s Department of Ministry Teams. Considering the current economic picture nationwide, Doucette said the team wanted to go where they could bring in high numbers with ease. For more News & Events at Liberty University, visit www.liberty.edu/news.
What partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? What fellowship has light with darkness? What portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? –from II Corinthians 6: 14-15 Whether you realize it or not, when you participate in a health insurance plan, you are agreeing that the premiums for your policy can be used to pay for anything your insurance company covers in any of their polices. Health insurance can actually support the opponents of Jesus Christ. You may be working and praying for abortion to end, but supporting abortions and the use of abortifacient drugs by helping pay for them with your health insurance premiums. You may be encouraging others to trust in Jesus Christ and turn away from the dangers of living in disobedience to Him. At the same time, the policies offered by your health insurance may be encouraging disobedience to Jesus Christ by agreeing, in advance, to cover the consequences of sexual promiscuity, drug or alcohol abuse, or other unbliblical practices.. We should not confuse health insurance with charitable giving. Charity is a compassionate, precise response to existing needs. Health insurance is a business agreement that indiscriminately agrees to cover things before they even happen. Members of Samaritan Ministries share one another’s medical needs through a simple, Biblical approach that doesn’t involve health insurance. They have agreed not to share in medical needs for unbiblical practices, and the monthly share for a family of any size has never exceeded $285*, even less for couples, singles, and single-parent families. Come experience the blessings, and the savings, that result when members of the body of Jesus Christ partner with one another instead of joining in partnerships that support the works of darkness.
To learn more about our Biblical, non-insurance ministry call us toll-free at 1.888.2.OTHERS (1.888.268.4377). *as of December 2008
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Faith in God applied to health care
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Who was here ... and what they had to say Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the student body gathers at convocation to hear well-known speakers from around the globe give their Christian perspectives on a range of topics and to testify about God’s work in their lives. in my life.” He said knowing the truth of Jesus Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life every day is a “greater experience” than any amount of money, fame or success he ever achieved. “It is the reason I was born, and the reason I am standing here today,” he said. “I have made Jesus the priority in my life.” Carrie Prejean, the reigning Miss California, did a sit-down interview with Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., who asked her about the bold choice she made to stand up for her faith at the recent Miss USA Pageant. After making it to the top five in the pageant, Prejean was asked a question from guest judge Perez Hilton, a homosexual activist blogger, about her beliefs on the topic of legalizing same-sex marriage in each state. She responded, “I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.” Prejean finished runner-up in the pageant. She encouraged Liberty students to take a stand for Christ whenever the opportunity arises.
Stephen Baldwin, film actor, related the powerful story of his coming to the Lord seven years ago and talked about his Livin It DVD series on extreme sports, which has led about 250,000 kids to faith in Jesus Christ. Baldwin said his current ministry is a reminder that “God kept His promise
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Mike Huckabee, 2008 presidential candidate and host of Fox News Channel’s “Huckabee,” was in town with Stephen Baldwin to promote the Christian Values Network (www.cvn.org). Huckabee spoke on imitating Jesus. He said sometimes our feelings of inferiority tell us that we don’t look good enough, or that we aren’t smart enough or able enough, so we want to be someone else. But God has given us all unique “spiritual DNA,” as well as physical DNA, and trying to be someone else defies both. The one person we can imitate, he said, is Jesus — “in service, in sacrifice, selflessness and substance.”
Ron Luce, president and founder of Teen Mania Ministries, spoke about the battle of dreams going on between the secular
world and Christianity. Citing Ephesians 3:20, Luce said God gave Christians the ability to have a creative imagination and they must weed out the “dream killers,” such as the media, computers and the Internet, dumbed down reading and gossip magazines and people or family members who discourage dreams.
Miles McPherson, president of Miles Ahead Ministries and pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, Calif., encouraged students to be careful of the deceptions of Satan. As a former NFL player with the Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers, McPherson experienced his fair share of what the world had to offer him. After years of living an immoral lifestyle filled with drug use, McPherson realized he was empty inside and in 1984 decided to give his life to Christ.
Bob Coy, founder and senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale encouraged students to stay focused on the vision and call of God’s will on their lives. After working for several years in the music industry, Coy left his job at age 24 and began his first ministry position as associate pastor of Calvary Chapel in Las Vegas. He later moved to Ft. Lauderdale and began Calvary Chapel there.
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S e p t e mber 12–20, 2009
fishing, bicycling and overlooks. • Listen as science experts from ICR reveal the incredible evidence for creation at each destination. • Enjoy luxury travel from San Francisco to Yosemite with accommodations in Yosemite Valley, Wawona, and Mammoth Lakes. • Fellowship with like-minded believers from around the country. • Learn and relax within the pristine beauty of one of America’s most popular destinations. Get “Back to Genesis” this fall with the ICR Yosemite Creation Tour! For more details on pricing and itinerary, or to request an information packet, visit icr.org/yosemite or contact ICR’s tour coordinator at 800.337.0375 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Todd ’ s
Sasser Cup: Twice as Nice
BY To d d Wet m o r e
Proving that last year’s run of conference championships was more than a one-year surge, Liberty Athletics just recently polished off another Big South Sasser Cup championship season. Thanks to a total-group effort, the Flames took home the league’s top overall athletics honors, doing so for the sev-
enth time in the last 12 athletics seasons. Liberty now stands just two Sasser Cup championships away from tying Coastal Carolina for the most decorated athletics department in Big South history. Last go-around, Liberty took home the title in eight of 17 conference-eligible sports. In doing so, Liberty also claimed rights to the league’s Men’s All-Sport and Women’s All-Sport trophies, becoming the second athletics department to sweep the league’s “Triple Crown.” A strong showing by the Chanticleers on the female athletic field allowed Coastal Carolina to steal away this year’s Women’s All-Sport trophy. However, the Liberty men gave the Flames their second straight Men’s All-Sport trophy and the fourth since the honor was established six years ago. Coastal Carolina led the race for the Sasser Cup following the close of competition last fall. Liberty lingered in third place, despite the Flames taking home conference titles in football and volleyball for the
second-straight time, while the men’s cross country team raced to victory for the fourthstraight time to thrill hometown fans. Liberty then looked to its stalwart winter programs to carry the banner during the frigid months. The women’s basketball team won its 12th conference title in 13 seasons, while the men’s indoor track program won its 12th-straight league title. A runner-up finish by the women’s track program and a third-place finish by the fourth-youngest men’s basketball program in the country enabled Liberty to take over the Sasser Cup lead heading into the spring. But the warm-weather days have usually favored the Chanticleers, as the Myrtle Beach-based athletics department traditionally thrives during the final three months of the athletic year, taking the Cup from Liberty four years in a row thanks to its strong spring sports programs. Faced with the pressure to finish what 10 other athletics programs began the previous September, Liberty’s spring pro-
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grams put together one of their best collective shows in years. The men’s track program nearly doubled up the competition during the outdoor championships for its 14th title, while the women’s squad raced to a second-place finish behind Coastal Carolina. On the links, Liberty’s golfers put together their best run on the course, finishing second to the Chanticleers, thanks in part to stellar play from Freshman of the Year Robert Karlsson, a nationally ranked golfer, who earned Liberty’s first-ever individual at-large bid to the NCAA Regionals. Liberty’s men’s and women’s tennis programs seemingly fed off each other’s successes, with both programs posting double-figure win totals. The women’s team bettered last year’s record-setting season by winning 15 matches, securing
a regular season runner-up finish. Their male counterparts posted the secondbest season in program history by capturing 13 wins. On the softball diamond, one of the younger squads in program history used experience gained from a bruising early season schedule to finish third in the final standings. The team then upended the top two seeds in the Big South Championship, en route to its secondstraight title game appearance and its fifth over the past 16 seasons, a mark that ranks third in league listings. Over at Worthington Stadium, the baseball team posted its fifth-straight 30-win season and entered the Big South Championship as the No. 3 seed, thanks to its most league wins in program history. The success of the squad, which has
made title game appearances the last three years, is bolstered by one of the hottest hitting teams in Liberty annals. At year’s end, all but three of the 17 Liberty athletics programs who compete in the Big South finished third or better in their respective standings. The feat left all that donned a Liberty uniform during the athletic season with the satisfaction of knowing they played a vital part in the total-team effort and making Liberty once again the one to beat on the field of competition. Todd Wetmore is Liberty University’s Assistant AD for Communications.
For Liberty University athletics news and schedules visit www.libertflames.com.
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Liberty athletes going pro Rashad Jennings drafted by NFL, Megan Frazee to join WNBA
BY E r i c B r own P h otos By Les S c h o f e r
Flames fans will have the opportunity this summer to see two Liberty University athletes begin their professional playing careers. In April, running back Rashad Jennings and Lady Flames Basketball senior guard Megan Frazee were drafted to the NFL and WNBA respectively, adding to the list of LU athletes to reach the pros. On April 26, the Jacksonville Jaguars picked Jennings 250th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft, making him the first Flame chosen on draft day since Eric Green went 21st in 1990. “It’s a childhood dream to go play in
w w w. l i be r t y. e d u
the National Football League,” Jennings said. “For fans, family and everyone else it’s like I finally accomplished it. For me, it’s just beginning.” The Forest, Va., native ends his collegiate career at Liberty with 3,633 total rushing yards. In just three seasons, he racked up 278 points on 42 touchdowns, achieving school records in both statistical categories. After transferring from the University of Pittsburgh to be closer to family, he helped Liberty achieve one of the nation’s best turnarounds in 2006. During the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Jennings’ explosive running attack guided the Flames to back-to-back Big South Championships.
Jennings is already familiar with his new head coach Jack Del Rio, having played under the Jaguars’ skipper during the 2009 Under Armour Senior Bowl. Just one day after learning where he would begin his NFL career, the running back expressed much enthusiasm in having another opportunity to work with Del Rio. “He wants to play physical football, and I think I’ll fit that mold for [the Jaguars],” Jennings said. “I got a chance to meet the whole coaching staff, and I really liked them all. I’m just excited to go down there and work for them.” Like Jennings, Frazee is also headed south. With the 14th pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft, the San Antonio Silver Stars selected the guard on April 9.
Frazee’s selection came as no surprise, as she averaged 19.8 points and 9.9 rebounds this past season, leading the Lady Flames to their 12th Big South Conference title in 13 years. “I’m very thankful that I’m going to San Antonio,” she said. “I know they’ve got a really good program going on down there, not just basketball, but with the [players] and how they act off the court.” Frazee will join former Lady Flames associate head coach Olaf Lange in San Antonio. After coaching at Liberty from 2005-07, Lange now serves as a Silver Stars assistant under head coach Dan Hughes. “We’re aware and know of a lot of the coaches and the programs in the WNBA, but probably none more than San Antonio,” Lady Flames Head Coach Carey Green stated. “We feel like their administration, their front office and their coaching staff will be a good fit for Megan and we’re excited for both parties.” Frazee is the second Lady Flame to reach the WNBA. In 2005, former Liberty center Katie (Feenstra) Mattera was drafted eighth by the Connecticut Sun before being traded to the Silver Stars on draft day. Frazee leaves Liberty as the No. 2 scorer and third leading rebounder in school history, tallying 1,833 points and 951 boards. She also holds school records for career double-doubles (50), consecutive double-figure scoring games (68) and career free throw percentage (.805/417-518). After an accomplished collegiate career, Frazee is now looking forward to playing in the Alamo City. “I feel like Liberty has done a good job in preparing me to go out into the world,” she said. “I’m ready to go out there and be a light for Him and I’m excited to see what happens.”
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5/15/09 10:56 AM
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