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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

THOUSANDS ATTEND JERRY FALWELL FUNERAL
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Evangelical leaders turn out, but elected officials scarce.
By Andrea Stone: USA Today Wednesday May 23, 2007
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Lynchburg, VA. - The black-clad mourners began arriving at 5 a.m., the line stretching for nerly a quarter-mile. They had come to say goodbye to Jerry Falwell, the folksy Southern Baptist minister whose Moral Mojority changed the face of American politics.
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To them, he was just their spiritual guide.
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"He was a great, great preacher and he preached theword of God," said Elizabeth Enns, 24, a Lynchburg nurse who graduated from Falwell's Liberty University and brought her 1-year old son, Landon, to the funeral.
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Falwell, who died of heart failure lasst week at 73 (May 15th) never shield from giving his opinion on moral issues. And that, said Franklin Graham, was what made this "prophet of our generation" divisive.
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"He believed in the Gospel, That's controversial," said Graham son of of evangelist Billy Graham. "He believed in marriage as a union between a man and a woman. That's controversial."
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Falwell "was not just some preacher who thought he would dabble in politics. He understood that Christians have a right in this country to be heard." said Jerry Vines, who gave the sermon. "He was criticized and he was villifed and he was unfairly misquoted, but he just kept on smiling and ke kept on speaking the message of morality and the glorious message of Jesus Christ to our culture. And the political landscape of America has been different since that day."
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About 7,000 people squeezed into Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church. An additional 2,000 spilled into Liberty's basketball arena and its football stadium.
More than 33,000 had viewed Falwell's body over four days as it lay in repose.
Falwell spend nearly his entire life in this small town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but this was no ordinary country preacher's funeral. Schools closed early. Helicipters, hovered as 17 agencies, including Liberty University's own police department, provided security and kept an eye on protesters:
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Mourners, were given a funeral program that included photos of Falwell on his wedding day, kneeling in prayer and being lifted on the shoulders of Liberty University students. Of the dozen photos, only one hinted of his national fame: Falwell with President Regan, the first national Republican his consdervative Moal Mojority political group helped elect.
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A video traced the start of Falwell's congregation in 1956 in an old bottling plant to its growth into one of the first megachurches, with 24,000 members; his creation that same year of the Old Time Gospel Hour; and his founding in 1971 of his Christian university, which now has 125,000 alumni.
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Most of the images of Falwell with national leaders dated from the 1970's and 1980's, when he was at the height of his influence.
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A generation after he ended evangelicals' wariness about getting involved in politics, there was a noticeable dearth of public figures at his funeral. No 2008 Republican presidential candidates were in the church. Among the former GOP presidential hopefuls, who attended were Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, and former senator George Allen of Virginia.
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Republican leaders in Washington said congressional voting kept senators and House members from making the three-hour drive to Lynchburg.
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Tim Goegiein, the president's liaison to religious conservatives, was not listed in the program but spoke briefly. He called Falwell "a great friend of this administration. A force of nature." He said that in a conversation a month ago, the minister was thankful for being able to train "a new generation" of Christian conservatives, many of whom now work in the Bush administration.
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Joleen Sharp, 19, a Liberty senior who hopes to attend its law school, said, she expected Falwell's legacy to be felt for years. "There are professionals going in all areas who, once they graduate, are going to be very influntia," she said, holding a Bible.
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Many at the funeral recalled an approachable, good-humored pastor, not a lightning rod on issues like abortion and gay rights.
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"Those who did not know him or didn't go to his church didn't know the real Dr. Falwell," said Sabrina Ugron, 36, a Lyncbhurg computer technician who was married by Falwell, who also married her parents. "The real Dr. Falwell was personable, caring, loving, generous, dedicated and a lot of fun. He was funny."
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Gary Thompson, 43, of Rustburg, VA met Falwell only a couple of times since joining the church in 2000, but he took a vacation day from his heating and air conditioning job to attend the funeral. He said he will always remember "his charism, his unwavering principles on the Bible and sticking up for the truth of God's word."
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If elected officials were in short supply for the man who shephered Christians to the polls, the funeral presented a who's who of evangelicals.
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At the end of the 9- minute service, 10 pallbearers wheeled Falwell's black, gold-trimmed coffin to a hearse. The procession passed by a giant "LU" carved atop the mountain Falwell rechristened for his university and took him to a private burial on the grounds of his Christian campus.
  • I typed this from the USA newspaper. I could hardly keep my emotions while typing this. Say what you will about Jerry Falwell, but if its not good, do not talk to me about it. I will not address what you didn't like about him, or about what he did in this life.
  • Charity and I and my mom (Pauline Whisnant) and sister Ellen and her son sat down with him and his wife for dinner April 15, 2007 at O'Charlie's and he and Macel were two gracious, loving, people we have been around in some time. The above article was well and correctly written.

Charles E Whisnant,