Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, agrees to take indefinite 'leave of absence' following controversy

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Friday, August 7, 2020
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Virginia-based Liberty University announced Aug. 7 that, effective immediately, Jerry Falwell would take his leave following a string of controversies surrounding social media.

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. has agreed to take an 'indefinite leave of absence' as president and chancellor of the college.

The evangelical university announced Friday that, effective immediately, he would take his leave. This follows shortly after a string of controversy surrounding Falwell after he posted a photo on Instagram of himself and a woman on a yacht.

The photo showed him holding a "dark liquid" next to a woman, he claimed was his wife's assistant, both with their pants unzipped.

In an interview with a Lynchburg radio station, Falwell apologized, saying it was a joke because the woman is pregnant and could not get her shorts unzipped.

RELATED: Clayton basketball star leaves Liberty University after Falwell's repeated insensitivity

"I've apologized to everybody," he said during the phone interview. "And I've promised my kids I'm going to try to be -- I'm going to try to be a good boy from here on out."

On Thursday,U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, a Republican representing North Carolina's Sixth District, and also a Music Faculty Advisory Board Member and former instructor of the university, chimed in on Twitter expressing his discontent.

"Jerry Falwell Jr's ongoing behavior is appalling," Walker said. "As a Music Faculty Advisory Board Member and former instructor at Liberty, I'm convinced Falwell should step down."

Walker said the university "deserved better."

Falwell Jr.'s father, Southern Baptist pastor and televangelist Jerry Falwell Sr., founded Liberty University in 1971. His son was appointed president of Liberty when Falwell Sr. died in 2007.