Thomas Road Baptist Church
is a megachurch
. Started in 1956
by a group of 35, Thomas Road now claims over 24,000 members. It is the founding organization of Lynchburg Bible College, now known as Liberty University
, as well as Lynchburg Christian Academy (officially renamed Liberty Christian Academy in 2005). Until 2004 the church was the location for a nationally syndicated religious broadcast known as the Old-Time Gospel Hour
. This program now airs only locally in the church's hometown. Selected sermons from the pulpit of the Thomas Road Baptist Church are now featured nationally on a syndicated program from Liberty University known as "Live from Liberty.
The church occupied a new multi-million dollar facility on July 2, 2006. The new building is connected to an over 800,000 sq. ft. facility formerly owned and operated by the Ericsson electronics manufacturer. The existing building has been renovated to house offices, university classes, the new Liberty University School of Law, and the Liberty Christian Academy. The church has constructed a 200,000+ sq. ft., $20 million facility adjacent to the existing building which includes a new sanctuary, wedding chapel, and children's area.
Founding pastor, Jerry Falwell
, served as its senior pastor until his death in 2007. In a special business meeting called by the board of deacons on June 3, 2007, Jonathan Falwell
was unanimously elected by the congregation to assume his father's duties as senior pastor of the church. Jonathan Falwell had previously served as the church's executive pastor since 1994.
Thomas Road Baptist Church was previously affiliated with the Baptist Bible Fellowship International
, but is now affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention
, having entered the convention by way of the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia