After eight years of political activity, including traveling thousands of miles to stump for candidates and mobilize voters, Jerry Falwell says he is abandoning politics. Instead, he says he will focus on his “first love: the pulpit.”

“I am now rededicating my life to the preaching of the gospel,” Falwell announced last month as he resigned as president of Liberty Federation and its lobbying arm, Moral Majority. At a Washington, D.C., news conference, Falwell said he will now concentrate on his ministries in Lynchburg, Virginia: Thomas Road Baptist Church, Liberty University, and the “Old-Time Gospel Hour” television program. He said he needs to be “home minding the store,” adding that his ministry, like many others, has suffered a financial backlash from the PTL scandals.

In Falwell’s opinion, the time was right to pull out because “evangelicals and fundamentalists are involved permanently [in the political process]. There’s no need now for someone like Jerry Falwell to … be a lightning rod.” He told reporters he does not regret spending eight years in political activities, saying that “… creating an activistic attitude among evangelicals was absolutely right.”

The work of Moral Majority and Liberty Federation will continue under the direction of Atlanta businessman Jerry Nims. He said his plans for Moral Majority are “on the aggressive side,” with further expansion at the grassroots level, forging broader coalitions, and achieving a more active presence in Washington, D.C. He said part of the new plan includes formulating “position papers [that combine] philosophy with activism [from a] conservative, traditional ...

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