Allen McFarland, the former chairman of Liberty University’s Board of Trustees, recently hinted that he was demoted from his position at Liberty for speaking out about former President Donald Trump.
“I began to notice things,” McFarland said at a recent SBC Virginia (SBCV) event.
“And I began to speak out to things that maybe I shouldn’t—say things like, ‘We’re raising champions for Christ, not champions for the Republican Party. We’re raising champions for Christ, not champions for Donald Trump.’ . . .
“I thought (the board) was supposed to be doing this. But I got in trouble, trouble big time.”
McFarland is senior pastor of Calvary Evangelical Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia, and has served on Liberty’s board since 1991.
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He was named chairman of Liberty’s Board of Trustees soon after Jerry Falwell, Jr. resigned as Liberty’s president amid sexual scandal, and Jerry Prevo transitioned from Liberty’s board chair to the school’s president.
In April 2021, McFarland—the first African American to serve as Liberty’s board chairman— was replaced by evangelist, Tim Lee.
At the recent SBCV event, McFarland said that soon after making his remarks about Trump, he was surprised to find the election of officers on the agenda for the next trustee meeting. McFarland added that as chairman, he was supposed to set the agenda, yet this was the first he had heard of the impending election.
Even so, McFarland said he announced the agenda item at the meeting, and someone quickly nominated someone for chairman and someone vice chairman. (After the meeting, it was announced that Tim Lee had been named chairman. William Graham, the oldest son of Samaritan’s Purse CEO Franklin Graham, assumed the position of vice chairman.)
McFarland said there was no discussion or questions at the board meeting about the election, only a quick vote. He added that after the vote, no trustees encouraged or thanked him for the work he’d done as chairman.
McFarland then compared his experience on the board to the apostle Paul’s experience described in 2 Timothy 4:16: “At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me . . .”
He encouraged his audience, saying, “Sometimes, it’ll seem like you are alone, that no one is with you. But I want you to know, because God is looking for someone who will carry out His purpose on earth, He will strengthen that person for Himself.”
Exposed trustee quietly leaves board
The news about McFarland’s removal as chairman comes shortly after Liberty trustee Steven Snyder departed Liberty’s board amid scandal.
In July, the podcast Gangster Capitalism revealed that Snyder had attended a bawdy, booze-filled dinner in 2020 with former Liberty president, Jerry Falwell, Jr. Sometime in November, Snyder quietly stepped off the board.
The secretive manner of Snyder’s departure prompted criticism from abuse survivor advocate and attorney Rachael Denhollander.
“(Snyder’s) removal was very recent and with no investigation or transparency,” Denhollander told The Roys Report.