Liberty University on Tuesday formally announced that Allen McFarland, a longtime board member and Portsmouth pastor, will serve as interim chairman of the board of trustees.
McFarland is temporarily taking over for the Rev. Jerry Prevo, who now is Liberty’s acting president while Jerry Falwell Jr. is on an indefinite leave from the university.
“I’m excited about this role,” McFarland said in a news release. “During this interim period, the spiritual health and wellness of our leadership is critical to fulfilling the mission set forth in 1971.”
McFarland, an adjunct professor at Liberty’s School of Divinity and the pastor of Calvary Evangelical Baptist Church in Portsmouth, has sat on the university’s board since 1991.
With his appointment, McFarland became the first Black trustee to chair Liberty’s 33-member board.
“This is a historic appointment at Liberty as Dr. McFarland is a distinguished national leader who will be particularly impactful as we continue to broaden our outreach to the African American community to join our mission in Training Champions for Christ,” Prevo said in the release.