Dennis Jernigan

Dennis JerniganI WAS A PRACTING HOMOSEXUAL

   The Lord set me free in 1981. I thought that it the way I was. In fact, I had given up. I had said, "This is just the way I was born. I am going to stop fighting it. I am going to embrace it." And the minute I embraced it, I had dived headlong into a relationship. I am very ashamed even to admit that, but I gave myself to this life and expected peace to come. And for a season, I guess it did but after a while I became so frustrated, felt so used all the time. I thought, "Well this cannot be right either."

    So I went on this incredible journey of discovery. I cut off this relationship I was in. I decided that I would go on to seminary. And then God began to speak to me three days before I was to go to seminary. Because a friend called me and said, "Dennis, the Lord has been speaking to me about you." Which scared me to death because I thought, "Man, the Lord does not speak to me about me so what is He saying to this guy?" Well, he said the Lord came to him in a dream. And this dream God was giving me music and people all over the world were singing the songs. And he said, "To confirm it to you my mom had the same dream this week. We would like to know if you would be interested in moving to Oklahoma City and live with us. Give God a chance to work this in your life.

   So three days later I am living in Oklahoma City, driving a school bus to make a living. That is the only job I could find. But God's hand was all over that because what it forced me to do is craft the God in this sense: here is homosexuality calling my name. I mean, I am being tempted, dragged that way all the time. Here is my friend telling me the things the Lord is telling him. So I am being pulled in two opposing directions and a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. I did not know what to do. I thought I am losing my mind. So after my morning bus routes, I would take my Bible, go to my friend's piano, and open to Psalm 1. I remember the stories of King Saul when he was beset by those evil spirits they would send for that shepherd boy to come and play. And I imagine David just worshipped there and it says the enemy would flee.

   So I thought I will do that for myself. I open to Psalm 1 and literally began singing through the psalms. And after a while of singing - I have literally sung through the psalms - I realized David committed adultery. David committed murder. Yet David is commemorated as being a man after God's own heart. And I thought "I want that. If you can do that for David, Lord, do it for me."

   There were series of events: this friend who had the dream found out what I was struggling with and confronted me, but he confronted me in love. I have never had anyone respond to me this way at all. He said, "Dennis, I do not know how to help you." He said, "I just know I know the answer." I said, "What?" He said, "Yeah, the answer is Jesus." I said, "I have heard that my whole life." He said, "Not like this, you have not." He said, "I believe Jesus is the answer so much I am willing to walk towards Him with you as long as it takes. If you fall down, I will not kick you. I will not tease you. I will not say: I told you so. I will just help you up every time." He said, "If you need a shoulder to cry on, I am your guy. If you need someone to yell at when you do not understand, yell at me. I can take it."

   I had to go outside the church to find somebody who would love me like Jesus. And that guy did, and he still walks with me to this day. So that in itself, God used this in a humongous way. I cannot even over emphasize it enough to tell you what just one person stepping outside their comfort zone and saying, "Here, I am going to walk with you." I do not even understand it myself, but I know the love of Jesus is the answer.

   So, lo and behold, I had a 2nd Chapter of Acts concert, November 7th, 1981. I got set free to such a degree, I have only imagined happening. So much healing came in a two-year period that it gave me a wife. And it is true; Melinda and I have nine children. We are not Mormon. We are not Catholic. They are not adopted. And yes, we know what causes that.

   But here is the deal, I remember being a little boy sitting in the church pew, by the time I am ten I already knew my struggle. And one Sunday morning before church started, I was playing with my brothers and cousins and I overheard the man who taught me about God from day one discussing what they thought of homosexuals. So guess what, I thought God thought that about me? I thought God hated me and no one ever told me that I could be free. They only said, "You do not get the pass to go. You do not collect $200. You get to go straight to hell because of your sin." And I thought, "Oh my goodness." Once the word set me free -- I mean, if I can help it, I am not going to let anybody else go without hearing the good news that freedom is possible. Hope is possible. Somebody loves you right where you are that loves you enough to not leave you there.

Dennis' Hearing His Voice Testimony

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