E.C. DeJernett

Biographies

Rev. E.C. DeJernett (1857 - 1929)

Greenville Morning Herald, Friday, 6 Sep 1929:
Editor, The Herald:

Please grant me the courtesy of a brief reference to your editorial relating to the life and tragic death of Rev. E. C. DeJernett.
I knew him intimately more than thirty years and I can say that his life was one of the most chaste and blameless I have ever known. In terms of wealth he had no rating, but money without culture and without virtue is but "sounding brass and tinkling cymbal."
The tragedy of our social fabric is that men's lives are measured by the dollar mark. The only true method of appraising greatness is that predicted upon service to others. In actuality, Rev. DeJernett gave his life in service to the church he loved and in preaching, in city street and countryside, the priceless gospel of his boundless faith in God.
May rest, peace, honor, and glory crown his departed spirit; and may his reward be without stint or limit in that crowning day that's coming by and by.

A. E. Edwards



It was a tragic accident that took E.C. DeJernett's life on September 1st, 1929. He was on his way to an early morning prayer meeting when a train hit him. As he was short of hearing and probably deep in thought, he did not hear the train approach. DeJernett was instantly killed. He was 72 years old.

Rev. Everett C. DeJernett was born in Gainesville, Alabama on January 18, 1857. Early in his life he felt God's call to be a minister. His first pastorate was in Peniel, Texas, where he founded the annual Peniel campmeetings. Following that, he served other pastorates in Decatur, Blossom, Wolfe City, and Commerce. DeJernett started out with being a Methodist minister, but soon his heart was caught by the Holiness Movement, and he became active with the Church of the Nazarene. But above all he was a Christian worker, not a preacher of doctrines. He was loved by all and "in the service of his Master he was clearly at home whether in a Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Holiness or other church." (Greenville Messenger) In 1897 he started a band for the preaching of holiness together with C.B. Jernigan and his wife, at that time both lay preachers and newcomers in the ministry. The first meeting was held at Cooper, Texas, where hundreds of souls were saved that night. They held meetings all over Hunt County and then traveled on to Eastern Texas. When they arrived in Linden, they found a sign at the corner of the courthouse stating "Yellow fever is in Louisiana. Holiness is coming to Linden. Govern yourselves accordingly." In Atlanta, Texas, he was addressed by three Methodist preachers who told him to either stop the meetings or leave the church. DeJernett decided that the meetings would go on. Later, he was tried before the quarterly conference and was expelled from the Methodist church. The Jernigans and DeJernett traveled together until DeJernett was called back to Peniel to help found the Texas Holiness University. Later, he gave up the evangelistic work to become the dean of the faculty of Texas Holiness University, and also the superintendent of the Peniel orphanage.

By that time, DeJernett had married and they had four children. His wife and one of his children preceded him in death. He was survived by two sons, a daughter, and a brother.

For many years while serving in Peniel, DeJernett went to the Greenville jail every Sunday morning to conduct services and encourage the jailers. It was on his way to a prayer meeting for that mission when he was hit by the passenger train and killed.

Dorli Gschwandtner