- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 16, 2002

LYNCHBURG, Va. The Rev. Jerry Falwell pulls the wheel hard right, sweat budding across his cheeks as he guides the Chevy Suburban around potholes in the dirt road.
It's a rough drive to the mountaintop overlooking his 4,300-acre property. But the view, he promises, is worth the trip.
Sprawled below is the red brick of Liberty University and his beloved Thomas Road Baptist Church. Imagine, he says, golf courses, recreation centers, apartment complexes, maybe a ski lift up the mountain, maybe one of those revolving restaurants on top.
At 68, Mr. Falwell thinks often about what will remain when he's gone. If he gets his way in federal court this summer, the conservative pastor will leave his most visible legacy twinkling below: a master-planned Christian community where members of his flock can live from "birth to antiquity."
"You'll never have to leave this place," Mr. Falwell says. "You can come in at age 2, in our early learning center age 5 into our kindergarten, age 6 through 18 in our elementary and high school. Then on to Liberty University for four years."
For fun, children can go to Mr. Falwell's Camp Hydaway in the summer. If residents develop a drinking problem, there's his Elim Home for Alcohol and Drug-Addicted Men. If they have an unwanted pregnancy, their families can send them to the Liberty Godparent Home for Unwed Mothers.
When Mr. Falwell's followers turn 55, they would be eligible to move into nearby Liberty Village, a 1,135-unit retirement center with its own markets, putting green, chapel and associate pastor from Mr. Falwell's church. The retirement condos, which cost $80,000 to $300,000, are under construction just outside Lynchburg.
Taking off his glasses, Mr. Falwell pauses to dispel what he expects to be misinterpretations of his dream.
"We have no intentions of building a 'compound' no wall is going to go up," he says. "If a non-Christian family applied, they would be accepted."
How about homosexual couples?
"That wouldn't work," Mr. Falwell says with a chuckle. He can't legally bar anyone from living in his community, but "they wouldn't be comfortable here; all these Christians would be witnessing to them."
Already, Mr. Falwell has built much of his community and employs as many people as the city government. With donations picking up since September 11, he will break ground on the putting green and recreation center this summer.


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