Jerry Falwell

Source: Liberty University / Liberty University

Macel Falwell, the widow of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., has died. She was 82. The Falwell family announced her death Thursday on social media.

Jerry Falwell Jr. confirmed his mother’s death in an email Friday to The Associated Press and wrote that the family was preparing a statement.

Macel Falwell and the elder Falwell were married for 49 years. He was an early conservative cultural warrior and founder of the Moral Majority. He died in May 2007. The Falwells had three children: Jonathan, the pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, where his father preached for 51 years; Jeannie Savas, a surgeon; and Jerry Jr., the president of Liberty University, the private Christian university also founded by Falwell Sr.

Falwell may be best known outside Lynchburg for his political activism. In June 1979, he organized the Moral Majority, a conservative political lobbying group that was pro-life, pro-family, pro-Israel and favored a strong national defense. The group chose California Governor Ronald Reagan as “their candidate” for the 1980 presidential election, registered millions of new voters and mobilized a sleeping giant — 80 million Americans committed to faith, family and Judeo-Christian values.

Although he became a national figure, his passion was being a pastor and a Christian educator. He often stated that his heartbeat was to “train young Champions for Christ” in every walk of life.

Falwell passed away on the morning of May 15, 2007 at age 73.

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