Prevo selected to run Liberty University in Falwell’s absence

A man reaches across the frame to shake hands with another man in a school cafeteria. Political placards are in the background, as is one man wearing a "Mike Dunleavy for governor" t-shirt.
Pastor Jerry Prevo shakes hands at a 2018 rally for Gov. Mike Dunleavy and other Republican candidates at Anchorage Christian School, attached to Anchorage Baptist Temple. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

Liberty University has selected retired Anchorage Baptist Temple Pastor Jerry Prevo to be the interim president of the school.

Monday’s announcement comes after Liberty’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr. went on indefinite leave. He has stirred scandal repeatedly, most recently by posting on social media a photo of himself and a woman, both with their pants partially unzipped.

Prevo was the face of the evangelical Christian right in Alaska for decades. After moving north from Tennessee in the early 1970s, Prevo grew Anchorage Baptist Temple into a mega-church. It was a leading voice against gay marriage, transgender rights and other battles in the culture war. Prevo led the church for 47 years before retiring in 2019.

ABT has strong political ties to the Alaska Republican Party, and every even-numbered year, politicians participate in “Candidate Sunday” events there just before election day. 

Liberty, in Lynchburg, Va., is one of the country’s largest evangelical schools. Prevo is chairman of Liberty’s board of trustees.