The Rev. Jerry Falwell told employees of his various ministries Friday to join his church and tithe a portion of their income or "we will fondly, warmly bid you goodbye."

In the announcement, made during a 45-minute "state of the ministry" address in the sanctuary of Thomas Road Baptist Church, Falwell told his more than 2,000 employees that people being paid by the ministry should support the church."You cannot enforce tithing and church attendance," Falwell told the workers, whose attendance at the meeting was required. The meeting was the first of its kind in 15 years.

"But if you cannot do this, then you shouldn't be a part of this team. You shouldn't be doing something you don't believe in."

All employees will be required to comply with the policy by July, and Falwell added, "If you cannot comply, we will not have any bitterness. We will fondly, warmly bid you goodbye."