Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, brought back the memories of his father, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr., at Wednesday’s convocation with the same sermon of encouragement his dad preached at the end of every school year.
“All of you have been called by God into a specific area of ministry,” Jonathan Falwell said Wednesday. “It’s such an encouragement to see you students of Liberty University truly become what dad talked about when he started this university, and that is becoming young Champions for Christ.”
He recited the questions his father had told students to ask themselves: “What would I do if I thought I might succeed? What goal would I set if I knew I could not fail? What price am I willing to pay, and what sacrifices am I willing to make?”
“These are the four questions my dad wanted students of Liberty University to remember, and so today I want you to remember these questions as well,” Jonathan Falwell said.
Reading from II Tim 1:7, he told students that God does not want them to live in a spirit of fear but in a spirit of power. Taking queues from his father’s sermon, Falwell said God wants Christians to be bold, not to focus on their own problems, and to believe that He can do the impossible.
“With God all things are possible and without Him life is impossible,” Falwell said.
He told students that they are the only ones who can know what God’s will is for their lives, and they need to commit themselves to Him daily by reading His word.
He cited John 16:33, which says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulations, but take heart. I have overcome the world.”
He encouraged students to remember his father’s words, “Never, never quit.”
“The battle has already been won,” he said. “Christ — when he stretched his arms out on that cross and paid the ultimate price for us — he won it. Now all we’ve got to do is fight it.”
At the end of Wednesday’s convocation, Falwell called to the stage members of church planting teams who will be going out around the world in the next few weeks. LU co-founder Dr. Elmer Towns led a special moment of prayer and dedication.
Liberty church planters will be headed to places like Charlottesville, Va.; San Francisco, Calif.; Richmond, Va.; Clarksville, Tenn.; West Palm Beach, Fla. and South Africa.
Jeff Barber, Liberty University’s Director of Athletics, presented Beth Bennett, an LU softball player, with the 2008-09 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award at Monday’s convocation. The award is the university’s highest athletics honor.
First established in 1975, the award is given to the top student athlete of the year who displays outstanding performance in academics, athletics and in their personal testimony and dedication to living a life for Christ. It was named for Rock Royer, Liberty’s first football coach in 1973 who died in an airplane crash while on a recruiting trip, and for Mac Rivera, a member of Liberty’s basketball team from 1972 until 1975 who was killed in a train-related accident while still a student-athlete.
The Sounds of Liberty, one of Liberty University’s travelling ministry teams, led the praise and worship time and performed the special music at Wednesday’s convocation.