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Elizabeth Taylor visited Thomas Road in 1970s

March 24, 2011 : Liberty University News Service

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr. and his wife, Macel, pose for a picture with John Warner and Elizabeth Taylor Warner at Thomas Road Baptist Church in the 1970s.
This screen shot from a television video shows John Warner and Elizabeth Taylor Warner being introduced in the October 22, 1978, morning service at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

Some of the world’s most famous celebrities have made stops at Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church over the years, including the legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor, who died March 23 at the age of 79.

Taylor attended a service with her then-husband John Warner at Thomas Road Baptist Church on October 22, 1978, when Warner was campaigning for his first term in the U.S. Senate.

Dr. Elmer Towns, Liberty’s co-founder and the current dean of Liberty University School of Religion
 and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School, remembers that day, although he said he did not get the chance to meet her.

“She and John Warner sat on the first row on the left-hand side as you face the pulpit. I don’t think they came early for the service, because I was in the back room and I wanted to meet Elizabeth Taylor,” he said. “ I had seen the movie National Velvet … I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen – in National Velvet. But John Warner and Elizabeth Taylor did not come to the back room, they went straight to the church auditorium, and after the service was over they were interviewed by the media at the right-hand door going out of the auditorium.”

According to The News & Advance, Warner's grandparents were from nearby Amherst County, and he and Taylor made more campaign visits to Central Virginia during the summer and that fall.

 

  • To read a Washington Post article about Taylor's visit to TRBC in 1978, click here.