Liberty University is mourning the loss of one of its founding board members.
Samuel Kenneth Pate, Sr., 75, of Lynchburg passed away on April 5, 2011, after a brief illness.
He was the brother of Macel Pate Falwell, wife of Liberty’s founder, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr.
Pate served on Liberty's Board of Trustees from the 1970s to 1989. He served on other organization boards, such as the Liberty Godparent Home and Liberty Christian Academy. He was a charter member and chairman of the Board of Deacons of Thomas Road Baptist Church.
Pate helped Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. develop and build the television and radio ministry for the “Old Time Gospel Hour.” Pate attended Tennessee Temple University and later worked as a draftsman in a local steel fabricating company. In the late 1960s, he began negotiating contracts with television and radio stations nationwide for “Old Time Gospel Hour,” first as a staff member and later through his own firm, Sam K. Pate and Associates, which also represented many other national religious broadcasters. In the 1990s, Sam K. Pate Associates also provided direct mail marketing services to clients all over the nation.
Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. said, “Sam will be greatly missed. He was a loyal member of Thomas Road Baptist Church and was quick to defend the church or Liberty University whenever necessary. He was very plain spoken. You never had to guess what he was thinking.”
Visitation will be held Thursday, April 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Pate Chapel at Thomas Road Baptist Church. A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 8, at 1 p.m. in the main sanctuary at TRBC.