1,000 Days: The Ministry of Christby Jonathan Falwell
There is a universal restlessness today among believers, young and oldunease, unhappiness, and unrest that exists in our pursuit of happiness.
Unarguably we find the answer in the life and salvation of Jesus Christ. Undeniably the miracles of His virgin birth, death on the cross, and resurrection from the grave hold the key to eternal life and/b>
There is a universal restlessness today among believers, young and oldunease, unhappiness, and unrest that exists in our pursuit of happiness.
Unarguably we find the answer in the life and salvation of Jesus Christ. Undeniably the miracles of His virgin birth, death on the cross, and resurrection from the grave hold the key to eternal life and ultimate joy. But what if in addition to these awaited a miracle revealed in Jesus' three years of public ministry, the roughly 1,000 days that followed His life of otherwise relative obscuritythe 1,000 days that were intentionally lived and documented?
In 1,000 Days Jonathan Falwell presents the unique chance to study this miracle, looking closely at those last three years in Jesus' life and revealing vital information form the gospels for our lives today. Meet Jesus like never before when you take a second (or maybe third or fourth) look at what He said in those 1,000 days. Each chapter also includes a special Bible study for use either by individuals or small groups.
Find rest in His invitation to make His mission your mission. Discover, as Falwell has, that a picture of the life of Jesus is worth a thousand days.
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1000 DAYSThe Ministry Of Christ
By Jonathan Falwell
THOMAS NELSONCopyright © 2012 Jonathan Falwell
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWhen You Want Something More
About a year ago I watched a documentary about a couple who had devoted their lives to climbing mountains. Reaching the top of peaks was their single driving passion in life, and they were good at it. They had spent years training. They owned all the latest technological gear-air tanks, high tech ropes, ice axes, and crampons. They were muscled and sinewy, and they ate only healthy foods. Every year they planned out their schedules based around which stratosphere-scraping summits they intended to climb—K2, Makalu, Annapurna, and more.
As I watched the show, I found myself respecting what they did. Their lives revolved around a different sort of adventure than most people encounter. This couple traveled to remote corners of the world and scaled the most exotic peaks on the planet. Few live like that, and the couple's story was inspiring, to say the least.
But what got me thinking, what became poignant to me, was when the interviewer began asking the couple about why they climbed all these mountains. At that point in the interview, the couple's tone changed and their countenance fell.
"Why do we always climb?" the woman answered the interviewer first. "Because we're always restless."
"We are never satisfied," said the man. "As soon as we climb one peak, we're always unhappy until we can climb another."
I was struck by the unmistakable longing in their voices. As the interview continued, this couple characterized their lives as a constant search. They were no longer climbing for the sheer joy of the sport—it had become a deeper quest; they were climbing because they were searching for purpose. Each expedition became infused with this hunt for meaning. They weren't simply climbing mountains. They were searching for inner peace.
Sorrowfully they admitted they had yet to find what they were looking for. They struggled and sweated and froze and inched their way up the sides of mountains for days and sometimes weeks on end, only to spend a few minutes on top of a mountain before they climbed back down again, shrugged their shoulders, and asked each other, "Well, what's next?"
As I pondered this couple's story, what saddened me was how many people's lives are characterized by similar searches, although people might not articulate it just so. In this sense the mountain becomes a metaphor for whatever people think will satisfy their longings for significance, purpose, contentment, and meaning. The act of continually climbing is a metaphor for whatever people try to reach those goals.
I am sure you have encountered this. You can look around at your friends or acquaintances or read news stories about how people are on quests to achieve something, fix something, or obtain something. But the goal is elusive, leaving people dissatisfied. Or if a goal is reached, it often doesn't deliver what was expected. People talk about how they are dissatisfied with their lives, always searching for a greater sense of meaning. Common statements include: "We're always restless," and "We are never satisfied."
Let's make this personal. How about you? Are you climbing mountain after mountain? When you take an honest look at your life, are you yearning for a greater sense of inner peace?
You might not want your life to be radically different than it is now; maybe you want it just a bit different.
Or perhaps you do indeed want your life to radically change—you can sense that something is deeply skewed, and it is causing you and your loved ones intense pain and sorrow.
Regardless of the degree of change you desire, you can sense that something in your life is not the way it is supposed to be, and you long to satisfy that restless feeling. You want life to work out as you hope it will.
So what's the solution?
You could always climb another mountain—whatever your mountain is. You could buy a different car, get a new job, move to a different city, get divorced and remarried, buckle down at work and achieve a promotion, go on another diet, quit your job and try another career, try out a different exercise video, down another drink, buy another outfit, or keep looking to find that perfect someone you had always hoped you would find.
Ask yourself this: How has that worked for you so far?
Think about your current strategy to answer your inner longings. Is that strategy bringing about the satisfaction, peace, fulfillment, and sense of purpose you have been searching for? Are you truly at rest in your inner life? Have you discovered what life is all about, and is it bringing that sense of satisfaction and contentment you have always wanted?
If you can't say yes, then maybe, just maybe ... the solution is found somewhere else.
There Must Be Something More
The idea of people being on a constant search for inner peace is not a new idea. Hundreds of years ago Saint Augustine described all mankind as having "restless hearts." Augustine understood how we all climb mountain after mountain, always in search of meaning. If you have ever felt a longing for something more, you are not alone.
What might this longing look like in modern life today? Maybe, by all outward appearances, your life seems quite successful. You have a college degree, a solid job, a supportive spouse, and a couple of great kids.
But deep inside you are surprisingly uneasy with how your life has turned out. You know there should be something more to life, but you just can't put your finger on what that is. You might not be able to articulate all the ins and outs of your restlessness, but you catch glimpses of it when you try to answer this longing by buying more stuff—a new phone perhaps, a new shirt, a new car, another carton of ice cream. Or you crank up your schedule and get busier—you begin a new hobby or you fill your calendar to the breaking point, even with good activities like church. No matter how hard you try, nothing satisfies. What do you do?
Or perhaps there is no hiding it—your life is full of chaos. The mistakes you have made are obvious. Your spouse has left, your kids don't talk to you, and you can't hold a job.
Whether the mistakes were caused by you or someone else, you are hurt, and you know you need help. Where do you turn? You've tried self-help books. You've tried Eastern meditation. You've sat through countless support groups. You've searched for solutions everywhere you can think of, but you still feel hopeless. What do you do?
When you long for something more, it can feel as though you are on a constant search for an ideal. You can picture what perfection looks like or tastes like or feels like or sounds like, but you can see that what is in your life now does not line up with perfection. So you are always on the hunt. In the end you are always dissatisfied with what you have because perfection can never be found.
Or sometimes this inner restlessness is like a never-ending search to feel better. Plenty of things regularly occur to shake up a person's life, to give a person a sense of chaos. Perhaps a friend dies of leukemia when she is only thirty-four. Or, frowning, your boss piles up another load of work on your desk right before the start of a weekend. Or it is the end of the month again, and you can't pay all your bills.
Regardless of where your feelings of being shaken originate, there is a very natural tendency to react to that chaotic feeling in not-so-healthful ways in an attempt to immediately feel better. When life gets shaken, people pour another drink or flip to a porn site or go shopping with money that isn't there—all in an effort to feel better. What they really are doing is demonstrating the restlessness of their inner lives.
Restlessness shows up all the time in relationships. People are prone to believe in (and long for) the existence of fairy-tale lives. Somewhere, somehow, the happily-ever-after romances that are seen in the movies must exist. Surely, a person thinks, those relationships can be found if only I could lose some weight, my nose was straighter, I have breast implant surgery, or my significant other would change his bad habits. People look to relationships to satisfy the deep questions within them, longings for answers about life's purpose that go far too deep for another person to ever begin to meet.
Restlessness can show up in our emotions. Sometimes this restlessness emerges at strange times in strange ways. We find ourselves surprised at the sudden fury of anger that emerges when somebody cuts us off on the freeway. Or we can't quite believe how a sad movie could make us cry the way it did. Or we wonder why people are so caustic when they leave comments on a blog posting.
Restlessness shows up in our eating patterns. Often when we reach for another donut or into a bag of potato chips, we are not truly hungry. We eat because we want comfort. Or we are bored. Food has always been there for us. It soothes us. It provides the lift we need to get on with our day or to wind down our evenings.
Absolutely, it's a common feeling.
Fortunately when Saint Augustine described all mankind as having restless hearts, he didn't leave the subject without pointing toward a solution. The full quote from his book Confessions reads this way: "Thou has formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee."
That's the solution we want to explore. Rest—an all-encompassing term that means purpose, significance, peace, satisfaction, and an understanding of what is truly important in life. How can our restless hearts be satisfied? How can we end the cycle of always climbing another mountain, whatever our particular mountain may be?
The solution originates with a particular person in a particular stretch of time. When Jesus Christ came to earth more than two thousand years ago, He could have simply offered us salvation—period—and never done another single thing. Jesus could have chosen to be born of a virgin, live for thirty-three years in relative obscurity, die on a cross, be buried, and rise from the dead three days later, and still give us the opportunity for salvation without doing any of the things we read about in the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament). In actuality the work of salvation was accomplished in one three-day weekend.
Yet there was more.
Much more. For three years—roughly 1,000 days—Jesus served in public ministry while on earth. He didn't need to provide this ministry, yet He did anyway, and that is the key for us when it comes to rest. This intentionality of Jesus' ministry implies that there is a lot of information in the Scriptures worth grappling with. We need to understand what Jesus said and did during His 1,000-day public ministry so we can apply His teachings to our lives today.
By His modeling in that vitally important three-year stretch of time, Jesus Christ invited us to become like Him—to do similar things, to think similar thoughts, to have similar values, to live lives filled with compassion and justice and fair play and strength of character and sincerity and impartiality and integrity and much more. When we become like Jesus, we can have an incredible impact for what matters. We can also answer the longings in our own hearts. We can glorify God and fulfill our ultimate reason for living.
We can stop climbing mountain after mountain.
We can find true rest.
So Much More to Life than You Think
This is a journey you do not need to take alone. I know what this feeling of restlessness looks like in my own life—and also what it means to answer that feeling of restlessness. I don't know where you are spiritually, if you are a Christian or if you are brand-new to the subject. Either way, I invite you along in the process of discovery.
It is no secret that my dad was a pastor, and that I grew up in a household filled with church activities and faith. I dedicated my life to God when I was six years old, or at least I prayed a prayer toward that aim. I would say the root of my faith was real at a young age, but in many ways I was just punching the card, showing up and doing the things I was supposed to do. Honestly, my faith didn't have much of an impact on me in my early years. It was more a list of dos and don'ts, something I was born into rather than what I was really living. Even though I had a sense of faith, my life was still restless.
Life continued pretty much in that vein until 1989. By then I had been out of college for a few years. One Sunday I was sitting in church. I don't remember what I was thinking about, but my mind definitely wasn't on what was being talked about in the room. I was considering my life. It wasn't great. It wasn't horrible. It was just okay. At the time I was working in video and film production, doing TV commercials and wedding videos—nothing earth-shattering, basically just working for a paycheck. My life wasn't falling apart, but there was also an unmistakable emptiness to it. In honest moments I questioned what life was all about. I had friends and family, an okay car, a decent place to live, hobbies, sports, things I enjoyed doing, but I was on an undeniable quest to achieve something, fix something, or obtain something. The goal was ever-elusive for me. I had problems even articulating my restlessness. Try as I might, I found I never achieved, fixed, or obtained what I wanted. The bottom line was I was not satisfied with the way my life was turning out.
But that Sunday morning the pastor invited people to discover Jesus as never before. My mind snapped back to the message. He described how faith must saturate all we do. It is not a list of dos and don'ts, but rather a relationship with a God who cares.
You might call it an aha moment. Something clicked in me when he said that, like there was another step to this faith journey beyond praying a prayer or going to church or identifying myself as belonging to a particular group. Nothing beyond that initial realization changed in that moment. I knew there was more journeying ahead for me. The pastor talked about how a call to follow Jesus requires daily steps; it is not a one-time decision. I knew I needed to dig in and
Excerpted from 1000 DAYS by Jonathan Falwell Copyright © 2012 by Jonathan Falwell. Excerpted by permission of THOMAS NELSON. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Jonathan Falwell is senior pastor of the 20,000-member Thomas Road Baptist Church, called by unanimous vote of the congregation after his father's death in 2007. Vice Chancellor for Spiritual Affairs at Liberty University, the world's largest evangelical university with 37,000 students, Falwell preaches weekly on television, writes a weekly column for online news sources, and is an accomplished photographer with photos appearing in top news magazines. He and his wife have four children.
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Jonathan Falwell's book 1000 Days: The Ministry of Christ is an excellent read. It is captivating, orderly and flows well. It makes a lot of sense without being difficult to comprehend and it has challenging, thoughtful relevant questions at the end of each chapter. I was not expecting much from this author, having heard a lot of criticisms of Jonathan's famous father, Jerry Falwell, but the son has done an excellent job with this book. Although this book isn't about anything really new, it is very relevant and a challenge to most Christians. We can all benefit from this idea: We must live like Jesus Christ. Jonathan takes readers through key passages to point how Christ-like behavior. My favorite part of this book was Jonathan's interpretation of the Beatitudes and have not heard it ever put quite like this: The beatitudes have to do with the gospel and salvation! The poor are the spiritually poor who are without Christ. The mourners are those broken over their lost state and their sinful condition. Meek is for submission to God and God's will - or dying to self. I think this part of the book in Chapter 4 was beautiful and outstanding. I love this book because it is a challenge for Christians to clean up their act and live Christ-like lives. Jesus didn't come to demonstrate a Christian life for 3 1/2 years for us to ignore his example. We aren't supposed to just get our ticket to heaven and ignore the example He left us. I was impressed with Jonathan's grasp on the scriptures and his sticking to a biblical interpretation. I was looked for some sort of error or him going off the straight and narrow path, but I could find nothing wrong with this book. I highly recommend Disclaimer: I gave my honest review. I received this book from the publisher but a positive review was not required
This book really ministered to me. I loved reading about Christ's ministry and really getting deep into His teachings. I read this book with a yellow highlighter because there was so much I wanted to go back the review or share with others. There were many things in the book that will help me in my ministries I'm involved in at church. This book would be great for a new Christian to really understand the teachings of Christ, however, I learned so much myself. It was also a really easy book to read with stories and wonderful personal thoughts by Mr. Falwell scattered throughout. It wasn't dry reading at all and I really enjoyed the book. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand Christ's teachings and his ministry in a deeper way. It was an enjoyable book and also a book to refer back to when you're wanting to dig deeper into the teachings of Christ. *This book was provided to me through The BookSneeze program for my honest review
Working the Ministry 1000 Days: The Ministry of Christ is an in-depth look at the work of Jesus Christ. He pursue to save the lost, to restore man’s relationship with God, and to break the strongholds of the enemy. When looking at the title and the cover, I was expecting something different, but all-in-all the book was good to read. Christ has done more in his 1000 days on earth then we have done in our lifetime. We have been given a charge to work the work we were predestined to do, yet we have become too lackadaisical to work the ministry. In Luke 10:2 says: These were his instructions to them: "The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. I would recommend this book along with the Bible in understanding the walk Jesus walked. “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.
1,000 Days The Ministry of Christ By Jonathan Falwell is a new book that focuses on Jesus' last three years- or more dramatically, his last 1,000 days here on earth. The author purports to give a fresh look at Jesus' last days. In otherwords, as the title itself indicates, whereas 1,00 days is simply a new way of writing three years, the author is intent on finding a new interpretation of the age old scriptures. While there is nothing in of itself wrong with seeking out a fresh meaning for familiar scripture passages- in doing so, there is the danger of reinterpreting scripture to finding a new meaning which was never intended. The concept of gleaning life lessons from Jesus' last days is a good idea for the creation of a new book. It is a new perspective that would be welcome by newer and more experienced believers, alike. The problem is that Falwell at times, uses the opportunity to either oversimply the bible text or to redefine the meaning in an attempt to make it adapt to worldy views. In a noble attempt to simplify scripture and relate it to down to earth terminology, Falwell takes liberties in reinterpretation- such as with the meaning behind the sermon on the mount and the temptations in the desert. For those readers unfamiliar with scripture, they will be left with the author's personal impressions of Jesus miracles and parables and words. Rather than being directed by the Holy Spirit, they will find themselves imbedded with Falwell's intrepretations when reading scripture. My opinion of this book is mixed- the format and presentation makes Jesus last years of ministry accessable to any reader. The author's simple and persuasive writing style draws the reader in. For those with absolutely no exposure to scripture, this makes a good springboard to generate interest in the bible- if one can set aside the author's interpretation. This book and its individual topics would make an excellent starting point of a study in the scripture as long as the reader was well grounded in the bible itself as the ultimate authority. In fact, the author's ideas could be a catalyst for an indepth discussion about the intended meaning of scripture in contrast to the relative or liberal interpreation styles. As a blogger for booksneeze I received this book for the purpose of writing this review.
Jonathan Falwell is the senior pastor of a church and the vice-chancellor of spiritual affairs at Liberty University. He also happens to be the son of Jerry Falwell (yes, that Jerry Falwell), but he’s certainly not riding his father’s coat-tails anywhere in 1000 Days. Falwell begins with the premise that almost universally, human beings have an inner restlessness that drives them. Some are driven by such restlessness, opines Falwell, to climb mountains, others to search for the perfect relationship, while others seek to quench their restlessness through eating. Yet the only answer to this, notes Falwell, is one that Augustine observed in his Confessions: “Thou has formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” 1000 Days starts with Jesus as the solution to humanity’s restless heart. But Falwell observes that Jesus could have calmed the hearts of men and brought them salvation without doing anything else. However, for the course of three years — the titular 1,000 days — Jesus had a public ministry. And Falwell wants readers to know why that is important: “He didn’t need to provide this ministry, yet He did anyway, and that is key for us … This intentionality of Jesus’ ministry implies that there is a lot of information in the Scriptures worth grappling with. We need to understand what Jesus said and did during his 1,000 day public ministry so that we can apply His teachings to our lives today.” What follows is a well-written, easy to engage study of the high points of Jesus’ ministry. It’s obvious that Falwell did his research and scholarship, not being afraid to occasionally discuss the meaning of a Hebrew or Greek word, yet the book goes nowhere near the lofty heights of academic writing that might scare off a reader who is just learning more about Jesus and the Scriptures. Falwell illustrates his points by sharing how he has seen the applications of Jesus’ teachings in his own life — particularly in his role as a father to his children. One of the most useful parts of 1000 Days is at the end of each chapter. Each chapter ends with three to five questions for individual reflection or small group discussion. These are not shallow questions by any means, not when they are asking for reflection on items such as: “In your most honest moments, where are you spiritually right now, and where do you want to be?” The true goldmine of this book is in the appendix; Falwell provides a Bible Study Guide with Leader’s Helps that makes this ideal as a small group or Sunday school study (particularly, I would think, for a group that may not have a deep foundation the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry). There is also a breakdown of 100 main events in Jesus’ life, making 1000 Days a very practical resource. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
"1000 Days" by Jonathan Falwell is a book all about the 3 years of ministry prior to Jesus' death. The book is very interesting, and I really enjoyed Falwell's comprehensive story of the ministry of Jesus while he was on Earth. Overall, the book was well-written, and easy to follow. The only thing that I had a little trouble with was that there were a few parts of the book that didn't seem to really flow with the actual theme of Jesus' ministry - like a few extra points were thrown in, even though they were a little off topic. I would give this book a 3/5, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to explore the work that Jesus did in his ministry while on Earth. This book is interesting, and I haven't ever come across anything like it so far, so it is definitely worth a read.
1000 days: The Ministry of Christ is a Jonathan Falwell's new devotional book that teaches about Jesus time on this earth. This book presents the final three years of the life of Jesus Christ. The author paints a picture for us detailing how Christ responds to temptation, to victory, to selecting followers, to questions, to suffering, and even to death. Some of the topics covered in this book are: * Jesus uses simple people to illustrate teachings and to represent him. * The source of true happiness is only God. * Jesus focuses on relationships instead of popularity. * A look at hypocritical followers of Christ. * Life is not about stuff - less is best. * How Jesus wants us to live based on his lessons from the cross This book is a great introductory study to the life of Christ. While Jonathan does supply some insights from the Greek, this book is not at all difficult to understand and would be good for new believers.
I received a copy of THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST: 1000 DAYS by Jonathan Falwell, from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze. This book follows the life of Jesus, mainly during his final one thousand days. It really brought the Bible to life in a very personable way. Jesus becomes a real person, rather than a powerful figure in history and religion. The writing is very smooth. It flows well from one page to the next, and feels more like a novel than religious nonfiction. It also works well in a group setting. The chapters end with questions for individual reflection and small group discussion. This way, when my family and I read it separately, we can come together by analyzing these thought-provoking questions. My favorite section involved Jesus’ messages from the cross. This line, from page 160, stands out to me the most: “People don’t always manage to speak profound words as their last, but Jesus’ dying words were highly important.” The messages are breathtaking. I recommend this to anyone who wants to connect with Jesus on a more personal level. It is great for self-help and for groups. Since the chapters are short, it also works well for a daily morning read: read a chapter every morning so that you can ponder the message throughout the day.
1000 Days: The Ministry of Christ by Jonathan Falwell is a book about encouraging readers to live our the example of life that Jesus left us. Falwell points out that if life was just about salvation and getting our tickets to heaven, Jesus could have been born and died on the cross. But the mere fact that Christ lived out the perfect Christian life for 3.5 years had to mean something. Christ left us this example for us to follow, not for us to just ignore. Although the book isn't deep, it is truthful and a good reminder to Christians to live the life that we are called to. The stories in the book (passages about Jesus) also are things we have heard before, but it is good to hear them again. So this is a good solid book but not outstanding. But still worth the read. Falwell writes, "My heart has found an answer to its restlessness in the person of Jesus Christ, and I know you can find this same peace and purpose too." His book is about "meet with Jesus Christ like never before. It is a journey to understand His teachings, model your life after His example, and follow Him in a new way." "Get a sense of what it is that Jesus wants us to know about what He did, what He said, who He is, and what He wants us to do about that." Falwell tells us that Jesus preached for 1000 days to give us an example to follow. Christ could have just been born and died on the cross. He didn't have to preach for 3 1/2 years and leave us an example, but he has. So, what will we do about it? Will we stay sitting in our comfortable homes or get up and do something about it and follow Christ's example? Falwell challenges readers, "Maybe you are one of the comfortable. You are a God-follower, a genuine Christian, but you really don’t want to get out of your seat. You don’t want to share your faith. The mission scares you or simply doesn’t interest you. You, too, have a choice to make. Your invitation is to travel that road with Jesus." "The bull’s-eye of that target is that you and I become more like Jesus. Remember that He could have skipped His three-year ministry and gone straight to Calvary, except that He wanted us to see what a holy life looks like." Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher for this unbiased review. I am not required to give positive reviewsDisclaimer: I received this book from the publisher for this unbiased review. I am giving my honest review, as positive reviews are not required..
1000 Days, The Ministry of Christ Jonathan Falwell ©2012 Thomas Nelson Publishers ISBN 978-0-8499-4808-4 (Hdbk) 174 pp. plus notes, Bible study guides and bibliographical references Falwell notes that Jesus’ ministry during only three years of teaching and healing has impacted generations, an amazingly brief time to complete such an important task. The author presents some new ideas about Christ’s life, retelling familiar truths with a clarity that encourages and enlightens readers. An important addition to Bible information, this book can benefit everyone. Falwell discusses fourteen events, how Jesus handled them and what each one means for our lives. These events include Jesus calling four fishermen, his baptism and temptations, his prayers for us and a full meaning of Christ’s last words on the cross. This is a book well worth reading several times and studying by both new and older believers. Jonathan Falwell is pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, founded in Lynchburg, Virginia by his late father, Jerry Falwell.