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Former homosexual shares story of Godís grace with Pinson churchcomment (0)

May 1, 2003

By Sondra Washington

More than 75 area worship leaders and choir members recently gathered at Clearview Baptist Church, Pinson, for a worship weekend that many of them may not soon forget.
Nationally known composer, worship leader and clinician Dennis Jernigan led the “We Will Worship” weekend at the church.
During the conference, Jernigan joined the church’s “Sounds of Praise” choir and band in performing his worship musical.
He shared with the audience how he learned to lead worship and encouraged them to use their God-inspired creativity and spiritual gifts.
Jernigan, who was involved in a homosexual lifestyle as a young adult, also shared his personal testimony, which he uses to inspire others who have come to Christ but are still struggling to live with their past experiences.
Through his testimony listed on his Web site, Jernigan offers hope to the hurting.
“Your circumstances, your sins, your wounds may all be different than mine, but the answer is still the same — Jesus,” he wrote.
“Do not receive the false guilt that Satan would try to put on you because of circumstances that were beyond your control. I urge you to deal with your own heart and the things you were and are responsible for like attitudes, actions, thoughts and feelings.”
Throughout his life, Jernigan has seen the hand of God ministering to him. While working as a school bus driver, he remembers God inspiring him to write songs between his routes.
“I simply put my Bible on the piano during those in-between hours, opened to the Psalms, and did what David did,” he said. “I simply got honest with God. This is also where I learned to be a song receiver — learned to wait on God and sing what I felt or sensed toward Him in praise.”
It was during those times that he began crying out to God through singing, praying and journaling.
“I came to realize that God’s love for me was not based upon how well I performed in this life but upon my recognition of His abiding presence in my life no matter how deeply into sin I had fallen and no matter how inconsistent I was in my love for Him,” he noted. “My heart was broken when I realized there was nothing I could do to earn His love, because He loved me no matter what.”
A few years later, after marrying and having children, Jernigan realized that God wanted him to share his testimony with others.
“God wanted to take the greatest failures and weaknesses of my life and make them my greatest strengths, and Satan wanted me to keep them hidden so he could use them against me,” he said.
Jernigan continued, “But like the prostitute, Mary Magdalene, I realized that to hide those things kept me from fellowship and freely loving the One I loved the most, Jesus. Not only this, but if I confessed my past freely, Satan would have no ammunition against me. I want to lay down my life and reputation for others just as my Lord Jesus did for me.”
Throughout this time, Jernigan’s wife continued to support him wholeheartedly.
“Dennis is not the only one who has a story to tell,” she said. “All of us who have been saved from ourselves, our sin, have a testimony of God’s grace that when shared can give hope to the hopeless.”
After delivering his testimony, Jernigan heard about God working in the lives of others who were hurting just as he had been. They included people who were dealing with homosexuality, abuse, rape and abortion.
“As they confessed their sins and hurts, Jesus was able to begin healing their past,” he noted. “Since the day I first shared my past publicly, God has called me to tell others what He has done for me (and) to lead and call others into intimacy with Jesus through the avenue of music and worship.”

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