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Southern Nazarene University - Character Culture Christ

Rev. C.B. Jernigan

Oh, brother, let us return to pioneers days and ways, and go to places where they do not want us, and stay until they think they can not get along without us, and plant things for God. There is plenty of room "out under the stars". Do not wait for a call, God gave you that.

It was the third year of the Civil War on a cotton plantation in Mississippi. The owner had studied medicine but later decided to give it up in order to grow cotton. The Civil War ravaged, spoiling all his plants. The nearby town had fallen and guerilla bands were marching around, taking and destroying all they could get. The country was in chaos. C. B. Jernigan C. B.

Jernigan Into this world C.B. Jernigan was born on September 4, 1863. After the war had ended, his father decided to leave the cotton plantation and move west.

He and his family of eleven children found a new home in Hunt County, Texas, where C.B. Jernigan was brought up. He received a normal "pioneer school education" which included being taught by his mother at home in the winter. All the children would sit together around a big table studying while their only light came from a single candle in the middle of the table. It was a happy family in which C.B. grew up, and bedtime bible studies and prayer times laid the foundation for his future.

C.B. Jernigan was raised at the frontier and always stayed a pioneer. When he was 9 years old, he gave his life to the Lord, and was sanctified, too, early in his life. From then on his heart burnt with preaching holiness. He helped to clear away the brush and put up the tent for the first holiness campmeeting at Greenville, Texas.

The day he was sanctified, he also felt the call to preach, and he obeyed.

Soon every door was shut against him, and there was no other place to preach save "out under the stars". He was glad for every place to preach, was it in a home, in a schoolhouse, under a tree, in a tent. Often he or his fellow preachers were rejected, nobody wanted to hear the gospel of holiness and called them liars; but they were greatly rewarded with huge successes and hundreds of converts at other places. Many people's lives were transformed and changed from upside down.

Johnny and C. B. Jernigan Johnny and C. B. Jernigan C.B. Jernigan married Mrs. Johnny Jernigan, and together they had two sons and two daughters. They both began their service as lay preachers, and had some difficulties as the Methodist church did not license women to preach.

Early in their ministry they formed a band with Rev. E.C. DeJernett to preach holiness, and traveled together around the country. Mrs. Johnny Jernigan often preached to groups of women on their journeys.

One time they preached in Texas in the middle of winter. The weather was bad, the rain poured and the roads were almost impassable because of the mud, so that almost nobody attended the meetings. They prayed about this, and the next day an ad appeared in the paper:

A city terribly shaken A magnificent church ruined
People scream in the streets like drunk men

This cyclone struck Jerusalem A. D. 33: The exact date was the day of Pentecost
Struck by lightning: One hundred and twenty sanctified - three thousand converted
Thunder: Now when this was noised abroad
The churchruined: Jewish formality completely destroyed.
Drunk men in the streets: Others mocking, said these men are full of wine. Peter answered, "These men are not drunken as ye suppose."

For further description, read second chapter of Acts, and attend the holiness meeting now in progress at the Presbyterian church.

C. B. Jernigan administers baptism
C. B. Jernigan administers baptism The next evening the church was full, and many attended from then on, in spite of rain and mud.

After a while Rev. DeJernett gave up the evangelistic work, while C.B. Jernigan continued on and organized the first Independent Holiness Church, in 1901 becoming its first pastor, though he still spent half of his time for evangelistic work.

Out of this church grew the union of the Holiness Church of Christ with the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene. At the first General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene at Pilot Point, Texas, in 1908, Jernigan was appointed District Superintendent of the Oklahoma/Kansas District.

During this time an orphanage, a rescue home and a school known as "Oklahoma Holiness College" were opened in Beulah Heights, Oklahoma City, by Miss Mattie Mallory. After a church was organized in the city, Miss Mallory gave the school and rescue home over to the church, but kept the orphanage till her death.

C.B. Jernigan sold the property at Beulah Heights and bought a piece of land in Bethany instead, four and a half miles west of the city limits of Oklahoma City, on the El Reno Interurban line. He established the Oklahoma Holiness College on these grounds, and with it the city of Bethany, in the year of 1909.

The Oklahoma Orphanage was also moved to Bethany, and the rescue home was opened, running for seven years under the supervision of Mrs. Johnny Jernigan.

In 1920 Oklahoma Holiness College merged with Texas Holiness University, becoming Bethany Peniel College, which is now Southern Nazarene University.

IN CAMP - The First Meal in Bethany
IN CAMP - The First Meal in Bethany C.B. Jernigan played an important part in SNU's history, as he established one of the colleges from which this university emerged, and through this also became the founder of the city of Bethany.

He was a great preacher and his life was devoted to bringing the message of holiness to everybody, in this making a great impact in many people's lives. He did not care where he slept or what he had to eat, whether people praised him or despised him, whether he was welcomed with open arms or first rejected and later humbly received. The only thing that mattered in his life was living up to God's call, and that is what made the difference.

There is plenty of room "out under the stars". Do not wait for a call, God gave you that.

Dorli Gschwandtner

Our Nazarene Heritage
Founded in 1899, Southern Nazarene University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university - a service of the Church of the Nazarene. Located on a 40-acre campus just west of Oklahoma City, SNU grew out of several small colleges committed to educating people for lives of service to God, leadership, and reconciliation toward their neighbors and within the global community. More than 32,000 alumni work and serve throughout the United States and the world. Read About Our Heritage

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