LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of Liberty University, says he supports efforts to rename the city the university calls home.

A petition circulated online in June calls for the city of Lynchburg to change its name. The city is named after John Lynch, a Quaker. Some relate the city to the racially-motivated murders of Black men and women throughout American history.

“I personally support changing the name of the city of Lynchburg. It’s been an embarrassment to Liberty University ever since we started,” Falwell said. “That was one of the reasons Liberty’s original name was changed from Lynchburg Baptist College to Liberty Baptist College in 1976.”

“So many people from Liberty have told me that when they travel and tell people where they’re from, they’re often asked, ‘Why in the world would you want to live in a racist place like that?’ It’s because people take ‘lynch’ and they think it means there were lynchings here, when the truth is it was named after a Quaker.”

It is unclear if or when the Lynchburg City Council will address the petition.

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