Richest CelebritiesAuthors
Net Worth:
$10 Million
Aug 11, 1933 - May 15, 2007 (73 years old)
Writer, Televangelist, Pastor
United States of America
💰 Compare Jerry Falwell's Net Worth

What is Jerry Falwell's Net Worth?

Jerry Falwell was an American evangelical Southern Baptist pastor, political commentator, and televangelist who had a net worth of $10 million at the time of his death.

Jerry Falwell founded or co-founded a number of fundamentalist Christian organizations, including the Thomas Road Baptist Church, Liberty University, and the rightwing Christian political lobby group the Moral Majority. Already notorious for his extremist beliefs, Falwell became more infamous throughout the 1970s and 80s for his various legal issues. Falwell authored a total of 20 books and was involved in many controversies during his career. His health started to fail him in 2005 and Jerry Falwell passed away on May 16, 2007 at 73 years old.

Early Life and Education

Jerry Falwell was born on August 11, 1933 in Lynchburg, Virginia to Helen and Carey. He had a twin brother named Gene. Falwell's father, an agnostic, shot and killed his own brother Garland, and in 1948 died of cirrhosis of the liver. As an adolescent, Falwell attended Brookville High School. He went on to attend Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, graduating in 1956.

Thomas Road Baptist Church

At the age of 22 in 1956, Falwell was a founding member of the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Originally consisting of 35 members, it eventually became a megachurch. The same year as the founding of the Church, Falwell launched the nationally syndicated radio and television ministry "The Old-Time Gospel Hour." Later, in 1967, he founded the Lynchburg Christian Academy, a segregated private Christian school and ministry of the Thomas Road Baptist Church. Falwell opened the school to oppose Martin Luther King Jr.'s push for civil rights and racial desegregation. It was later renamed Liberty Christian Academy.

Liberty University

In 1971, Falwell co-founded Lynchburg Baptist College with Elmer L. Towns. Affiliated with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, the college was eventually renamed Liberty University. Falwell was the first president of the school. Liberty University offers more than 350 accredited programs of study across 17 colleges, and has around 13,000 residential students and 80,000 enrolled online.

Moral Majority

Falwell was a founding member of the rightwing Christian political group the Moral Majority, one of the largest lobby groups for evangelical Christians in the US during the 1980s. As the head of the group, Falwell advocated for Republican candidates and conservative political causes. The Moral Majority was credited with bringing two thirds of the white evangelical vote to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election.


In early 1987, Falwell was appointed by disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker to take over as the new head of Bakker's PTL ministry. Bakker thought Falwell would temporarily lead the ministry until the former's rape scandal quieted down, and then he would be able to return, but Falwell ended up barring Bakker from PTL. Later in 1987, PTL went bankrupt and Falwell resigned from his role.

Jerry Falwell net worth

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

Political Views

A fundamentalist conservative Christian, Falwell opposed civil rights. He was against a woman's right to choose, the rights of LGBTQ people, labor unions, and educational and religious freedoms. Falwell also promoted vehemently antisemitic views and various conspiracy theories, including that Bill Clinton was involved in a murder plot and that 9/11 was caused by pagans, gay people, and feminists. He was widely denounced for his hate speech.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Falwell attracted substantial media attention for his various legal problems. In 1972, the SEC charged his church with fraud and deceit in connection to unsecured church bonds; the case was ultimately won.

In the early 80s, Falwell got into legal tussles with the magazines Penthouse and Hustler, which he claimed had defamed him and invaded his privacy by publishing mocking articles about him. He took this case, which was primarily targeted at Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, all the way to the United States Supreme Court, where he lost.

In 1984, he lost a court battle to gay rights activist and former Baptist Bible College classmate Jerry Sloan, whom he refused to pay after losing the case.

Personal Life and Death

In 1958, Falwell married Macel Pate, whom he first met at the Park Avenue Baptist Church in 1949. Together, they had two sons named Jerry Falwell Jr. and Jonathan and a daughter named Jeannie. Their sons have been involved in Falwell's ventures, with Jerry Jr. serving as the president of Liberty University and Jonathan as senior pastor at the Thomas Road Baptist Church.

In early 2005, Falwell was hospitalized for a viral infection. He was readmitted to the hospital later in the year for respiratory arrest, and again after that to have a stent implanted. In May of 2007, Falwell was found unconscious in his office and was taken to the hospital. There, he died of cardiac arrhythmia.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction