A large group of pastors who are all graduates from Liberty University have written to their former university's board urging them to "permanently remove" Jerry Falwell Jr from his position as president of the institution. The move comes after Falwell was placed on a leave of absence for posting a picture of himself on holiday with his trousers unzipped.
According to a report by CBN News, the letter insisted that the college "is in need of new leadership that represents the heart of Liberty University's mission" following a series of gaffes and inappropriate remarks made by Falwell on Twitter, including belittling and aggressive language towards those who he disagrees with politically.
They added: "It is because of our deep love for Liberty University and our great optimism for its future that we write to you today to urge you, the Board of Trustees, to permanently remove Mr. Falwell as president and chancellor and replace him with a new leader.
"We do not write out of any personal vendetta against Mr. Falwell. We recognize that under his leadership, since his father's death in 2007, the school has experienced significant financial and institutional growth and added important programs that are poised to shape a generation of Christian leaders in nearly every field of study."
The group added that the students of Liberty "need a chancellor and president that embraces the responsibility to live out their faith with integrity and passion both publicly and privately".
"We pray for Mr. Falwell and his family and hope that he received the time and privacy he needs for reflection and spiritual renewal," the group concluded. "However, as you contemplate the direction of the school, we encourage you to take another important step by pursuing a new president and chancellor."
Liberty University was founded by the late Rev Jerry Falwell, Falwell Jr's father, in 1971.