Family Blessings

By Ted Allen, June 21, 2021

Generosity of Liberty’s founder comes full circle as last of 8 siblings graduates

Micah Apon with his mother, Lori, at his degree presentation ceremony at Williams Stadium on May 11. He was the last of eight siblings to graduate after receiving full-tuition scholarships granted by Dr. Jerry Falwell.

The Apon family circle has had Liberty University at its epicenter for the past 15 years, since founder Dr. Jerry Falwell vowed to grant all eight of Bobby and Lori Apon’s children a Christian education on its grounds.
Bobby Apon, a founding member of the contemporary Christian band NewSong, committed suicide in 1999. Lori still remembers the overwhelming sense of gratitude she felt after receiving a call from their pastor, Johnny Hunt, of First Baptist Church Woodstock, Ga., also a member of Liberty’s Board of Trustees, with the news of Falwell’s gracious offer of full-tuition scholarships for all of her children.
“As a young widow with eight children, I knew God would be faithful to our family but had no idea how,” Lori Apon said. “It was a ‘wow’ moment, almost too good to be true.”
Less than a year after Dr. Falwell made that generous pledge — while the oldest Apon child, Abi Fasciano (’10), was finishing her freshman year at Liberty — he passed away on May 15, 2007.

Abi (Apon) Fasciano (’10), the first of the eight siblings to attend Liberty, stands with Liberty University founder Dr. Jerry Falwell.

“Nothing was in writing confirming this incredible gift; however, Liberty University stood by Dr. Falwell’s verbal word, and our lives have been deeply impacted because of the opportunity to attend this great school,” Lori said.
She was sad that Dr. Falwell could not be on hand to see her youngest son, Micah — who was 13 months old when his father died — graduate magna cum laude with a B.S. in Strategic Communication in May.
“I wish he were here so we could tell him thank you,” Lori said. “Liberty was a great place to send them. I knew they were going to receive biblically sound teaching and were going to have friends who were fellow believers. It was a place I could trust, and it’s proven to be that.”
Micah Apon will return to the Atlanta area to work as a creative event specialist with Techtronic Industries.
He will miss the friendships he developed on campus and on Thomas Road Baptist Church’s young adults ministry team.

Christieanna Apon (’16) was mentored by Lady Flames Track & Field Assistant Coach Andrew ‘Pete’ McFadden.

“The community that Liberty brings here, it attracts incredible people,” Micah said. “I have some of the best friends, I’ve had some of the best mentors, and I’ve had some of the best professors. So that’s helped me to learn and grow into a better man.”
His siblings have also been blessed by mentors and father figures at Liberty. For Christieanna Apon (’16), it was Liberty Track & Field Assistant Coach Andrew “Pete” McFadden. For Brandon Apon (’13, ’15), it was former Flames Football Strength & Conditioning Director Bill Gillespie and Offensive Coordinator Aaron Stamn, who exhorted him as he worked his way up from a walk-on to a team captain and record-setting tight end by his senior season.

Evan Apon was a member of Liberty’s Soar Dunk ministry team.

The siblings said Liberty has been a pivotal launching pad for them to thrive in their post-graduation careers — from Abi, who with husband Nick Fasciano (’09) is raising five sons while investing in their church and community in North Carolina; to Evan, who traveled around the country sharing the love and hope of Jesus Christ and recruiting students to Liberty as part of its Soar Dunk Team and is now a community leader for the Maple Street Biscuit Company in Duluth, Ga.; to Kayla Whittinghill (’11) who, with her husband, Ben, are church planters blessed with six children in Brattleboro, Vt.; to Amy Carroll (’18), a flight attendant with Delta, and her husband, Joey (’18), a traveling nurse currently based in Washington, D.C.; to Christieanna, an insurance agent in Denver; to Isaac (’16), director of social media and creative services for Liberty Athletics; and to Brandon, General Manager at Mall of Georgia Mazda in Buford, Ga.
Brandon Apon is now giving back to his alma mater as a member of the School of Business Advisory Board.
“How do you ever repay something like that?” he said of Liberty’s generosity. “That’s why each of us have felt compelled to give back — not guilted to, but we don’t take it for granted.”

Brandon Apon (’13, ’15) played tight end for the Flames.

Lori Apon has sent out all of her children to go “Light their World,” in reference to a song by NewSong. Drawing inspiration from biblical passages such as Isaiah 1:17, James 1:27, and Psalm 68:5, which refer to God as the “father of the fatherless” and “protector of widows,” she serves as Executive Director of Perspective Ministries, a nonprofit she founded in 2016 to meet the practical, emotional, and spiritual needs of widows and their children across the United States.
“The greatest part of this story is that it brings hope to other widows and fatherless children,” Lori Apon said. “May the Lord continue to keep His hand on Liberty University for its kindness to the fatherless.”

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