LYNCHBURG, Va. (Christian Examiner) - Macel Pate Falwell, 82, who described herself as "a prim and proper lady who'd been raised in the arms of a protective Christian family" before marrying Jerry Falwell, has died.
The Falwells were married April 12, 1958, and were married for 49 years. The Rev. Jerry Falwell, founder of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, died in 2007. They are survived by two sons and a daughter: Jerry Falwell Jr., Jonathan Falwell, and Jeannie Falwell Savas -- and their families.
A memorial page appears on the website of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia today.
In the first chapter of her book about their life, Jerry Falwell: His Life and Legacy, Macel Falwell talked about she and Jerry Falwell grew up differently, but in the end, were both devoted to building up the body of Christ:
I spent my younger years committed to Christ and to His church. Jerry had grown up without such commitment. Over the years his mother pressed him to go to church. For a while he accommodated her, but most Sundays Jerry walked in the front door and slipped out the back door when no one was looking.
Throughout our marriage I was shy, fearful, and even certain that none of Jerry's wild ideas would work. Jerry believed that anything was possible through prayer and hard work.
So you see, our story is not relevant because of who we were, for we were polar opposites, ordinary people with ordinary weaknesses, whose lives intersected with Jesus. Our story is relevant only because it reveals what God can do with two ordinary, if unlikely people who dare to say yes to Him.
More details will be published as they are available.