After nearly three decades of service at Liberty University, Senior Campus Pastor Dwayne Carson gave his final message to students at Monday’s convocation as he prepares to take a position as an associate pastor at a church near Columbus, Ohio.
“Today we are saying farewell to a Liberty institution,” said Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. “Dwayne Carson has been here for 27 years – he’s really the one who’s made our spiritual life programs here at Liberty unique in all the world.”
Falwell called Carson’s wife and four children to the stage as he presented Carson with a Liberty University rocking chair.
“Liberty University loves Dwayne Carson, the whole family -- we’re going to miss you greatly and we appreciate everything you’ve done for Liberty. Hopefully he’ll be back someday … he will always have a home here,” said Falwell.
Carson thanked the Falwell family for allowing him to be a part of the university for so many years. He also thanked Liberty faculty as well as the staff and members of Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC), which served as the Carson family’s home church for more than 20 years. He said that he would always be indebted to TRBC for the spiritual growth he experienced while at Liberty.
As a Liberty alumnus, Carson addressed students about what it means to be a Liberty student.
“The thing that has driven me for years is that this is the place where it’s all about God. It is a place that wants you to grown in your relationship with the Lord, it wants you to know Him, it wants you to serve Him -- that’s what Liberty University is about,” said Carson. “May that always be the number one characteristic of Liberty University.”
After arriving at Liberty as a student in 1984, Carson became involved in ministry through student leadership. He was a resident assistant from 1985 to 1987 and a resident director from 1987 to 1988. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in religion in 1987 and went on to earn his Master of Arts in religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He was ordained by TRBC in 1991.
Carson began serving as a campus pastor in 1988 and created the spiritual life director (SLD) student leadership position. He served as the director of the Office of Student Leadership and was promoted to vice president of spiritual development in 2008. Carson became senior campus pastor in July 2010.
Carson’s wife, Donita Hershey Carson, is also a Liberty graduate. Three of his four children currently attend Liberty Christian Academy, and his oldest daughter attends Liberty University.