Musician delivered from homosexuality, happily married for 29 years

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By Mark Ellis

Dennis Jernigan
Dennis Jernigan

He could play the piano by ear in the first grade. His artistic and creative bent set him apart from the other boys, and this sense of being different grew steadily over time.

“I could hear a song on the radio and sit down and play it,” says Dennis Jernigan, acclaimed Christian songwriter and musician. His life is the subject of the forthcoming feature film “Sing Over Me” that will focus on his deliverance from homosexuality, when God made him a new creature in Christ.

Jernigan grew up in Boynton, Oklahoma, a prairie town of only 400 people about 50 miles from Tulsa. “The guys labeled me a sissy pretty early on,” he admits. “By junior high they called me fag and queer.” He found solace by hanging out with girls, because they seemed to connect with his emotional side.

He and his family attended a small church originally pastored by his grandfather. “I didn’t know anything different but going to church,” he recalls. Jernigan made a profession of faith at nine-years-old in the family church.

A budding athlete, he began to excel at baseball and basketball and noticed he received approval from his father and other men as a result. Mostly, however, he felt disconnected emotionally from his father, who never told him he loved him until many years later.

The secret life

In junior high school, he first began to experiment with homosexual behavior and developed a secretive alternative existence through his high school years.

“I was living two different lives,” he confesses. “I was failing sexually all the time. There were other boys I experimented with quite regularly. In a small town, where everyone knew everyone’s business, we went out of our way to hide things.”

One of only 12 in his graduating class from high school, Jernigan went on to Oklahoma Baptist University. Surprisingly, he found “even more rampant” homosexual activity at this Christian institution, affiliated with the Baptist General Convention.

“If it was discovered, we would have been kicked out, so we had to be very careful in the way we practiced our sexual encounters,” he notes.

Although Jernigan’s athletic gifts allowed him to make the basketball team, he quit to devote himself to his music studies. “I had to work extra-hard to learn the theoretical concepts of music,” he recalls.

To keep up appearances, he began to date a woman named Melinda. “I thought she was beautiful but I had no sexual attraction to her,” he admits. At the same time he dated Melinda, he was involved with other male students sexually. “Finally, in my senior year, I told her I never wanted to see her again.”

“Trust me,” he told her. “You will be better off if you never see my face again.”

An older mentor

By his senior year of college, his self-esteem had plummeted to new lows. “I was shocked when an older Christian man came into my life. He was a husband and father, well-respected, and he began praying with me each week, calling and asking how my studies were going and genuinely investing in me in a godly way.”

Jernigan and his older Christian mentor went out for a Coke one evening. As they sat across from each other in a booth, he decided to let his guard down. “I’m not who you think I am,” Jernigan confessed. “I am really struggling and I don’t know how to help myself. I need help, but I can’t even tell you what it is unless I know you will love me no matter what.”

“You can trust me,” the older man responded. “I’ve probably heard it before and I will love you no matter what.”

Jernigan paused for a moment, then told him the agonizing truth. “I struggle with same-sex attraction and I don’t know what to do.”

In his confession, he felt a massive weight began to lift from his shoulders. But the feeling did not last long. The older man had been setting Jernigan up and a few minutes later made a sexual advance. In Jernigan’s vulnerable state, he gave in.

“I went away from that encounter feeling used, betrayed, and humiliated,” he says. “I felt worthless.”

Suicidal despair

Jernigan went back to his small apartment, turned on his gas stove without lighting the burner, and lay down nearby.

As he listened to the hiss of escaping gas and smelled the telltale odor he wondered if the apartment would blow up or he would pass out, but he didn’t care which came first.

As he lay there, a quiet small voice pierced through his despondency. Are you ready for eternity? Do you know what waits for you there?

“It scared me so badly I got up and turned off the gas,” Jernigan says.

This brush with eternity, however, did not alter his lifestyle choice. “I decided that this is the way I was born and I’m going to stop fighting it.” In the summer following his college graduation, he moved in with another gay man.

Now that he could live fully and freely in the homosexual lifestyle, he expected his inner torments to cease. “I expected peace to come, but the opposite happened,” he admits. “I got more miserable than ever.”

Because he felt used in the relationship, Jernigan severed it abruptly and then made a major course correction. “I decided to go to seminary because I thought God would meet me there. I tried suicide and seminary couldn’t be any worse.”

A prophetic voice

But three days before school started, an old friend called. “Dennis, the Lord has been speaking to me about you. He came to me in a dream and in the dream God was giving you music and people all over the world are singing your songs.”

Jernigan thought his friend had lost it, because at that point in his life, he had only written three songs.

Then his friend told him his mother had the same dream, a further confirmation. “We want to invite you to move into our house and give God a chance to work this in your life.”

Three days later, Jernigan decided against seminary, moved in with his friends in Oklahoma City, and took a job driving a school bus.

“Before and after my morning bus route, I would go to the piano and start playing, open my Bible to Psalm 1, and begin singing,” he recalls. “I had to do something for my sanity.”

He faced a titanic inner struggle for his allegiance. On the one hand, homosexual temptations pulled him strongly in one direction. On the other hand, his friend’s powerful prophetic word about his destiny with God pulled in another. He felt double-minded, and he knew from Scripture that “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

“I remembered when King Saul was beset by evil spirits he would send for the shepherd boy, David, to come and play the harp. Then the enemy would flee. So I decided to do that for myself and I sang through the psalms many times.”

As he played, he reflected on David’s life. “I realized that David committed adultery and murder, but he is remembered as being a man after God’s own heart.”

Lord, will you do that for me? he asked quietly.

A powerful concert experience

Shortly after this, Jernigan attended a 2nd Chapter of Acts concert at the University of Oklahoma. Halfway through the song “Mansion Builder,” lead singer Annie Herring began to prophecy. “The Lord told me there is somebody here tonight who is going through things. You have things hidden you think no one sees, but He sees the things you’re hiding and He loves you anyway,” she said.

Up to this point, Jernigan thought God hated him because of his sinful lifestyle. “I thought homosexuality was too vile for Jesus to take on the cross.”

“Jesus died for every sin,” Herring said. “God loves you right where you are. We’re going to sing over you. While we sing, we want you to take the hidden things from your heart, lift them in your hands, and by faith give them to Jesus like a gift on Christmas morning.”

“On Christmas, you don’t just give things away; you receive things in return,” she added.

Jernigan began to sob as he slowly lifted his hands to God. “For the first time I realized that homosexuality was placed on Jesus on the cross, that He died for my sins.

Jesus, you’ve been crucified with me. You’ve been buried with me, but you came forth out of the grave, he said to himself.

At that moment, the resurrection power of Jesus delivered Jernigan from his bondage to homosexual sin. “That night I walked out of homosexuality and I never looked back. In an instant I was given a new identity. I wouldn’t let those past experiences define me.”

A new creature in Christ

During the next two years, Jernigan immersed himself in God’s Word. “I had been believing a lot of lies. I had been duped by the enemy. I became passionate to know the things I believed in and why I believed them.”

While homosexual thoughts dominated his mind in the past, the time he invested in God’s Word helped the temptations to recede. “It used to be all I could think about. But that’s changed. I have transformed my mind by renewing it in God’s Word.”

Jernigan never thought he could have a romantic relationship with a woman, but something unexpected happened. God brought Melinda back into his life, the woman he dated in college. Two years later, they got married.

“I was scared to death of sexual intimacy with a woman,” he confesses. As the wedding approached, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to respond physically to his wife.

“By the time the marriage came along, I had renewed my mind for a two-year period, so I was confident that everything would work as God intended.”

Jernigan wedding
Jernigan wedding

God supplied abundantly more than he could have hoped or imagined. “Sure enough, on our wedding night we made love four times,” he says.

After the first time, he wept, because God had removed his guilt and shame about his sexuality. “That sent me over the edge in my understanding, to know God really does transform. I know it’s possible.”

Jernigan went on a trip with his father a few months after he got married. As they drove, he turned and asked the question that causes a hungry ache in many young people’s souls. “Daddy, why didn’t you ever tell me you loved me?”

“My dad never told me, so I didn’t know how to tell you,” he responded.

Jernigan sees a causal link between his same-sex attraction and his early home life. “With homosexuality, 99% of the time there is a disconnect between the child and the parent of the same sex,” he notes. “Everyone with a disconnect like that takes a turn toward something. In someone else, it could develop into an addictive behavior of another sort.”

Dennis and Melinda have been happily married for 29 years and have nine children. Songs like “We Will Worship the Lamb of Glory,”

Melinda and Dennis
Melinda and Dennis

“Thank You,”  “Great is the Lord Almighty,” “Who Can Satisfy My Soul (There is a Fountain),”  “I Belong to Jesus,” “Nobody Fills My Heart Like Jesus,” and “You Are My All in All” have been sung throughout the world by Christians, in fulfillment of the prophecy spoken to him many years before.

In conjunction with the documentary currently being made about his life, Jernigan is writing a novelized version of his life story. He is also working on a fantasy series for boys.

“God does renew and transform,” he exclaims. “God does restore. Look at my life. Think of what I would have been robbed from if I never followed the Lord. I would not have my wife and children. I would have nothing, really.”

Jernigan family
Jernigan family

 

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22 COMMENTS

  1. This is a very interesting story… I wonder why he decided to broadcast his past for the whole world to read? I guess he is comfortable with it and so is his family.
    It gives hope to those that struggle with SSA and want to change.

    • What is stopping you from believing. He proves him self in the lives He changes and in His creation. Their were over 500 witnesses of him after His resurrection. I hope u see the truth soon.

    • Ww, your initials look very familiar. You may not be reading this by now, but I will go ahead and post my message anyway. The way you wrote, it seems like you have Christianity all figured out. It isn’t the Christian that you have problems with. It is you who has problems within yourself, no peace and self-respect. The way you wrote, i.e., very, very, stupid, was exactly how you view your entire self. Do you see others condemning you in this website? What you wrote was all about how you view your own world…full of self-hate, self-anger, self-bitterness, self-destruction, no self-respect and so on.

      Christianity is based on sacrificing love because of the innocent Son of God who died on the cross for you, me and everyone in this entire world or universe. I really believe you misunderstand the concept of Christianity. Christianity is not about condemning people or acting like we are better than others or rejecting the homosexuals or whatever behaviors that are out there. Educate yourself by reading the scriptures first. You’re missing TONS of important information.

      Christians will not condemn you or others. (My apology if they did). It is NOT up to us to do so. If we condemn you, then we would only be condemning ourselves along with you. It is you, alone, who will be condemning yourself to hell, not the Christians. The decision is based on how responsible you are when it comes to making choices, called “free will” that God gave us. Life is about choices, to do good for mankind because of God’s love for us or to follow your own desire..along with the desires of Hitler and ISIS. Hope you understand that this is how war and greed begin and specially the kind of comments you make that stir up the pot. God wants us to have peace, based on our choices that we make in this world. It is up to us to bring heaven in this world, not hell.

      If you consider yourself as an open minded person, then PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF by reading a bible instead of using it as toilet papers or wagging your middle fingers toward heaven and cursing and blaming God with all of the problems in this world. When you’re done reading from cover to cover, you can prove to us Christians if we are still stupid…like looking at yourself in the mirror. If you can read the thick pages about DARWIN, then you can read the bible…unless you’re afraid to see yourself in the book.

  2. There is nothing wrong with homosexuality. Only deliverance we need is from the holier-than-thou attitude you all seem to possess.

  3. I’ve read through many, many reports and experiences like this. As much as I wanted, my feelings never changed and became more miserable and suicidle. After decades of praying, fasting and fighting my homosexuality, I finally decided to confornt the situation. I learned a valuable lesson. The people that have success with this are considered bi-sexual. I’ve not met one man or woman who is a 4, 5 or 6 on the Kinsey Scale that has ever happily and successfully become straight. Please understand that there is more to God and this life than the black and white so many think in.

    • It is sad that you allow your sexual organ to decide who you are.

      God can deliver you but you have to want to free.
      Quit thinking of yourself as a queer and see yourself for what you really are a SINNER.
      God can do anything.
      It is you and wrong thinking that has you bound.

      It us sin and Chrust died for sinners.

      o you

  4. Wonderful testimony. I used to identify myself as a gay man from adolescence and never really had much of a church-centred life as my parents were atheists. But at 22 years of age I gave in to the Lord and asked Him to be my Lord and Saviour. Needless to say, I am now 23 years old and I can feel God changing my heart to see the beauty in women and I am now seeking a wife to start a family under Holy Matrimony.

    This is a very encouraging testimony and I pray that I would have a testimony like this. Not only did the Lord deliver me from drug addiction and mental illness but he is renewing my heart and mind every day.

    • I am SO pleased to hear that Ben
      The most important thing that EVERYONE NEEDS to understand is that the Lord Jesus Christ does not force Himself on noone. The Lord Jesus can heal and deliver whom ever He chooses because He is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.

      The one thing is we have to let Him do it…….we must have the faith to believe in Him.

      We must stop listening to the non believers…….that is why they are called non believers…..they don’t believe in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us so, it says that man does not believe and what we believe in is foolishness to them

      However the blood of Jesus works NO MATTER what anyone says.

      I have been delivered of the lie of homosexuality for over 18 years and as of January 2015 the Lord has come in and worked on me day by day and transformed my mind.

      Hold on to what the Lord says to you man of God.

      NEVER once did the Lord Jesus Christ call any of us homosexual, liers, thieves, fornicators, adulterers, or anything like that

      HE CALLS US SALT OF THE EARTH, LIGHT OF THE WORLD, MORE THAN CONQUERORS!!

      God gave us the will to choose whom we will serve and it is up to you to believe what His promises are in the Word of God. The question is, what do you believe?

      I thank God for this blog and this opportunity for all of the believers to share their testimony.

      We are all mad in the image of our Lord God and to believe that God is homosexual is ABSOLUTELY INSANE!!

      Be blessed to you all believers and non believers, I pray that you that do not believe have an encounter with Christ. OH TASTE AND SEE THE GLORY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!!

    • That is such a blessing!! There is such fruitfulness in doing things Gods way. I pray your marriage is fruitful and abundant, children and grandchildren!

    • Please pray for a man named Christian, he has tried to commit suicide and his christian parents went to bring him to their house. The holy spirit showed me to give this man the christian tape that I have of Dennis Jernigan “Here In Your Presence”. Please pray that the anointing on this music will set Christian free. Once he reads Dennis testimony and many others like him, I believe he will surrender his life to Jesus. Please also pray for me, I have been dealing with sleep issues for the last 2 years. It is now 5:15a.m. I haven’t slept at all yet. The problem is that when I go to sleep Thursday nite, I tend to oversleep the hours that I didn’t sleep the nite before. I believe that it is part hormonal changes of menopause, plus other factors that would take too much time to explain. Some good comes out of staying awake, like reading for hours about the testimony of Dennis. I am blown away at how Dennis had 9 children, that shows me how unconditional love and restoration in his soul has been healed. I wish I could shake his hand and say “Praise God” for all the unselfish love that you and your wife have, in having all the children God blessed you with. Your sister in Christ MARIA

      • I pray you will draw closer to our Lord during your awake times and you will be able to intercede powerfully for friends and loved ones during the night. When my wife went through menopause, she found a Christian woman M.D. who helped her with natural hormones. I know there is one particular hormone that helps women sleep, progesterone. When this was restored to the proper levels she was able to sleep much better.

  5. The apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 6:9 gives a list of several types of sinners including homosexual. Then at verse 11 he says “And such were some of you.” The key word is ‘were.’ This is evidence from scripture that those who are caught up in that lifestyle can be delivered through the grace of God. Dennis Jernigan is living testimony to the long-term endurance of that Grace. Thanks be to God!

  6. Pray for me please I’m going through the same right now. I was a good christian now that I’m out of school I’m completely lost (double-minded really). I’m sad to admit my christianity has broken down and the feelings I have been suppressing are leaving me little choice. I pray that the Lord is leading me somewhere where I find my healing. But I’m sooo confused.

    Thanks for your testimony.

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