Looking back

In January 1971, Dr. Jerry Falwell announced to his congregation at Thomas Road Baptist Church what seemed to be an impossible dream. Because of the dark spiritual condition of the world, he felt a sacred obligation to build a distinctively Christian, world-class university where young people would receive a quality education in a Christian environment. These young people could then go out in all areas of life and impact their world for Jesus Christ.

Many just muttered and shook their heads. But in the fall of 1971, Dr. Falwell’s dream became a reality. Lynchburg Baptist College officially opened with 154 students. The entire staff consisted of four full-time faculty members and several unpaid part-time faculty members. Classes were held in Thomas Road Baptist Church facilities.

And so began a tremendous journey of faith. It seemed, at times, in those early days that the vision was too great, that failure seemed imminent. But no matter what the setbacks, Jerry Falwell Sr. refused to doubt.

Forty years have gone by since Lynchburg Baptist College opened its doors. What has happened in those years can be described as nothing less than miraculous.

Today Liberty is a bastion of Christian excellence for college students from around the world. Her student body, representing all 50 states, as well as more than 52 nations, makes Liberty University the most prominent Christian university in the world.

More than 6,000 acres on Liberty Mountain are the home of 64 classrooms and dormitories. DeMoss grew from a one-story building to a four-story state-of-the-art learning center and library. The original four classroom buildings have been updated and the Towns alumni Hall has been added to the B.R. Lakin School of Religion. Other buildings and facilities include Green Hall, the Vines Center, a domed 10,000-seat convocation center, the LaHaye Student Center and so much more.

From the beginning, a commitment to academic excellence has been the standard at Liberty. This is accomplished through a rigorous academic environment where Christian values are emphasized and upheld. The foundation of all academic programs rests on the infallibility of Scripture and the primary importance of world evangelism. In the days ahead, Liberty will continue to surge forward to reach and change the world for Jesus Christ.

Updated from the 1996 introduction in the Silver Anniversary Book.

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