September 8, 2017 : By Tobi Walsh Laukaitis - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Hobby Lobby President Steve Green shared his heart for teaching people more about the history of God’s Word during Liberty University’s Convocation on Friday.
Green is the driving force behind the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., which is slated to open in November. The Green family has amassed an extensive collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts. At the end of Convocation, Senior Vice President for Spiritual Development David Nasser announced that students were invited to take part in two trips to visit the museum in December through LU Send, which conducts travel opportunities for students and faculty.
Green said he was excited to be back on campus and thanked the Falwell family and the university for their impact on the world.
“Our mission, our real purpose for the museum is to invite all people to engage with the Bible,” Green said. “This is a book for all people. It is a book that has impacted people from all different walks of life and all nationalities, races, and genders.”
Some of the exhibits include a replica of the Gutenberg Press, 400 historical artifacts that show how the Bible has changed over time, an interactive Nazareth village where guests will be submerged into the culture Jesus lived in, and a 500-seat theater.
“We want to present evidence for (the Bible),” Green said. “We don’t tell you that this book is true. That’s for the visitor to decide. But the evidence for this book continues to show that the book is accurate in what has been recorded (in history).”
Green and his family have been longtime supporters of Liberty. In 2003, Steve Green’s father, David Green, donated the nearly 1 million-square-foot facility that is now known as Marie F. Green Hall to Liberty. The building was named after Steve Green’s grandmother, to honor her love of supporting missions around the world.
“Green Hall is one of the reasons Liberty has been able to grow so much, so fast,” President Falwell said in his introduction of Green. “The Green family has done so much for Liberty. What they are doing now in Washington, D.C., with the Museum of the Bible is incredible. They’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the programs and research. The collection of biblical artifacts is invaluable.”
The Green family were not the only longtime supporters of Liberty who were honored in Convocation on Friday. Brothers and Liberty donors George and Herb Rawlings were also in attendance. Like the Greens, the Rawlings family has made a tremendous impact on Liberty’s growth.
“We appreciate them so much,” Falwell said, recognizing the Rawlings brothers during Convocation. “They’ve been such an important part of making Liberty what it is today.”
Dr. John Rawlings, father of George and Herb Rawlings, founded and served as Executive Vice President of Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo., where Liberty’s founder, Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., attended college in the early 1950s. John Rawlings was an adviser to Rev. Falwell in his ministry and in the establishment of Liberty University. Dr. Rawlings, who died in 2013 at age 99, also served on Liberty’s Board of Trustees.
The Rawlings Family has donated $10 million to Liberty in recent years and added another $2 million donation in Friday’s Convocation. In 2015, the School of Divinity was renamed the Rawlings School of Divinity in honor of the family.