Jerry Falcom Jr. died Thursday, at age 81, after a brief illness, his family said in a statement.
He was a popular preacher, philanthropist and radio host, the family said.
Falcom died peacefully in his home.
His daughter, Kathy Falco, said the news of his death was unexpected and “sad.”
Falcom’s daughter, Karen, said her father had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Falco was one of the most prominent figures in the Southern Baptist Church, a denomination that was founded by televangelist Billy Graham and his wife, Marjorie.
He had led the organization to unprecedented heights, and was considered the church’s most influential leader.
Falwell and his family have a history of heart disease, heart problems and other illnesses, and were once hospitalized for several weeks.
Falman had a rare form of prostate cancer in 2012 and had been in a hospital in the hospital, according to family and friends.
Falcons son, Jerry, is also in a New York hospital, where his condition has improved.
Falmer was known for his colorful and often off-the-wall sermons and popular radio show.
He spent a lot of time on the air and in his private life, but he was also a social activist and an advocate for the poor and working-class.
His death is a loss for the church, Falwell said.
“It was a privilege and an honor to be with you and to be a part of so many of your stories,” Falwell, 83, told the crowd in the audience during his final broadcast on Monday night.
“I will miss you very much, and I will miss Jerry, the brother who gave his life for the gospel, for which you all loved.”
Falwell’s death comes as the Southern Baptists conference in Atlanta continues to be dominated by a conference on same-sex marriage, a move Falwell criticized in his last broadcast.
In his speech at the conference, Falcom said that, “It is not just the marriage that is at stake.
It is our nation, and we cannot allow the LGBT community to lose its rights and freedoms.”
A similar controversy erupted in 2015 when the conference hosted a panel on a possible change in the Confederate flag to honor the South’s civil rights movement.
Falston’s remarks on the issue were widely seen as insensitive and offensive.
He also spoke out against a proposal to rename a school in Kentucky to honor Confederate veterans.
Falun Dafa, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, told CNN that the conference’s policy on same sex marriage has been a “very divisive issue.”
“It’s really an issue that people in the denomination have been very sensitive to and have worked to find a compromise on, and that’s why Jerry Falun was a huge supporter of the bill that came out of the conference,” Dafa said.
He said he believes Falun will be remembered as a “true champion” of LGBT rights.
Faluans death comes just two weeks after the Baptist Convention, which oversees the denomination’s nearly 2 million members, approved a resolution recognizing the Holocaust and the genocide of Native Americans.
The resolution also reaffirmed that all people are created equal and “equal is not equal.”
It was not immediately clear what the resolution means for other Southern Baptist leaders.