Michael Reneau

Michael Reneau is WORLD’s deputy editor. He is a World Journalism Institute and Bryan College graduate. He was editor of The Greeneville Sun newspaper before joining WORLD. Michael resides with his wife and four children in Greeneville, Tenn. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelReneau.

Illustration by Krieg Berrie/Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Signs of trouble at Liberty University

Higher Education | Alumni and critics wonder why the school’s trustees didn’t act sooner against Jerry Falwell Jr.
by Michael Reneau
Posted 9/02/20, 02:45 pm

Lynchburg, Va., bussinessman Jimmy Thomas Sr. and his family have invested much in Liberty University in the last 30 years. In 1992, Thomas and fellow businessman Daniel Reber donated $1.4 million for construction of Liberty’s dining hall, known as Reber-Thomas. When Liberty was drowning in debt and struggled to make payroll in 1995, Thomas and Reber bought $30 million of Liberty’s debt and forgave it.

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Steve Helber/AP Photo

Jerry Falwell Jr. and the cult of personality

Higher Education | Falwell’s 13-year tenure as president of Liberty University ends in personal scandal
by Michael Reneau
Posted 8/26/20, 12:12 pm

Nearly five years to the day after his father died and he became president of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell Jr. told a local newspaper his leadership style differed from that of his father, Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell Sr.: “I think it’s good that my profile’s lower because the less dependent Liberty is on a family or personality, or a name, the healthier it is for the school.”

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Greg Schneider/Genesis

The COVID-19 chasm

Coronavirus | The pandemic divides Americans—even Christians
by Michael Reneau
Posted 7/30/20, 12:54 pm

When Americans turned their gazes toward the coronavirus early this year, many speculated it would wane in the summer heat. Instead, the opposite happened: As temperatures climbed this summer, so have coronavirus infection rates. On July 24 alone, scientists recorded about 74,000 new cases. Though mortality figures haven’t risen as severely, the United States was approaching 150,000 coronavirus deaths as July closed.

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