LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) – The community Macel Falwell was known for going above and beyond to help lifted her life up in remembrance Monday.
The wife of the late Dr. Jerry Falwell passed away in her sleep nearly two weeks ago. WSLS10 spoke to the family in an exclusive interview about Macel’s life and legacy, as community members gathered to say their final farewells.
“Attending the funeral of a loved one like this is obviously, difficult,” said son and Pastor Jonathan Falwell. “But, knowing you’re the one that has to get up and preach that service, and to speak at that service, that’s always difficult.”
This time for Pastor Falwell, it’s different. He said his final goodbye to his mother, Macel, before she will rest by her husband’s side on Liberty University’s campus.
“When I was in kindergarten I really didn’t want to go to school and I would not go unless she went with me,” said Falwell. “So, she would actually come and sit in the back of the classroom. Every day she would volunteer as kind of a classroom mom.”
Macel, a mother of three, would give up her time and sit in that class every day for a solid year — it’s a childhood memory Falwell keeps close. And, perspective as to the kind and generous lady she was.
Known in the Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University, many describe Macel’s devotion to her family, faith and community.
“She wanted to make a positive impact on anybody she possibly could,” commented Falwell. “She helped them in a difficult time; whether it was sneaking $20 to them when they were having a difficult time or whether it was buying a class ring for a high school senior who didn’t have the money.”
In her quiet way she did all she could to ensure others around her felt cared for. Now, it’s the community’s opportunity to return the favor one last time.
After preparing for a crowd of 5,000, the Thomas Road Baptist Church will open its doors Tuesday for the funeral service. All are invited to pay their respects.
In a statement, University President Jerry Falwell said, “the last time that she recognized me was about one year ago when she told me one day that she was so proud of what I had accomplished at liberty university. I will always treasure that memory, because it was a rare moment of clarity for her that I never saw repeated again after that day.”
At the age of 82, vascular dementia took Macel Falwell in her sleep. Now, pastor and son Jonathan Falwell will have to face the moment he fears most.
“That will be the most difficult moment, it’s getting through that service on Tuesday,” said Pastor Falwell.
Due to Macel Falwell’s funeral, Lynchburg Christian Academy will be closed Tuesday. The service will take place at the Thomas Road Baptist Church, Tuesday at 1p.m.