The Rev. Jerry Falwell, founder and pastor of Lynchburg, Va.,'s Thomas Road Baptist Church and an outspoken leader of the religious right, died yesterday at age 73; we remember him with an interview recorded in the early days of Fresh Air's national broadcast. In 1979, Falwell founded a movement he called the Moral Majority and helped return the Republican Party to power with the election of President Ronald Reagan. Falwell also founded Liberty University, an evangelical institution believed to be the largest of its kind. Rebroadcast from March 14, 1986.
Jerry Falwell, former head of the Moral Majority and temporary head of the PTL (Praise the Lord) organization after revelations of sexual encounters brought down the Rev. Jim Bakker. Falwell recently stepped down as head of the PTL and of the Moral Majority, his Christian political action committee, to concentrate on his ministry, best known through his national television program "The Old Time Gospel Hour." He's written an autobiography titled Strength for the Journey.
Evangelical minister Jerry Falwell has cultivated a network of political, educational, and media ventures to promote his conservative beliefs in culture and politics. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about how he came to be a Christian, and how he hopes to guide others to the faith.