Dear Clayton Jennings,
You don’t know me but we have many things in common. Some of the things we have in common are things we can be proud of for sure. There are also things we have in common that have shaped our lives and impacted others in a way that we are ashamed of. You see I used to be a minister like you who traveled preaching the gospel to many thousands gathered at one time. Sure not as many as you but still I was focused on sharing Christ and then I like you came to the point of…
… Well let me back up a bit and explain who I am and how we are slightly connected.
Our Common Ground
I used to attended your grandfathers church. As a student of Tennessee Temple University (TTU) I sat under Dr. J. Don Jennings (your grandfather) the President of the school and Pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church. I still remember how he would challenge us to be bold, courageous and not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His sermons impacted my life as I am sure they did yours.
Not long after leaving TTU I went into full-time ministry. I was young and my desire to please God with my life drove me. God blessed and saw fit to place me in a position were I could preach the gospel to thousands. What a thrill it was to present the truth to so many folks of which many were lost and responded to the invitations when I gave them. Many folks saw me as a great minister of God but I like you knew otherwise. You see Clayton I lived a lie and just like you I fell into sexual sin. Our commonality ends here.
My Sin Broke Me
I shamed the name of Christ. I let down everyone and I knew my ministry was over. Done. Never to return. I failed my family, church and the thousands upon thousands who looked at me as a man of God. I sinned grossly against our Holy God.
Yes after much time and pain I found forgiveness and restoration in Christ however, there was never going to be ministry again. I was (as you are) disqualified. I know God restored me and presents me as faultless to the Father but I also knew my days of public ministry were over.
Consequences Of Sin
I like you was stripped of my ministry credentials. Lost almost all of my friends and gained a world of haters. I did not press forward into another ministry as you have. I only looked to Jesus for comfort and restoration which took years.
It was years before I could walk into another church with my head held high in confidence of who I am in Christ because my fall was so great and damaging to all I ministered to.
You have to ask yourself as I did how could we have acted in such a way? Our sin is sick and shameful exposing us as not godly men but as weak selfish children. As Christian Ministers we publicly made a mockery of Jesus’ name. Godly Men live for Christ not themselves. Lost men follow their lustful desires planning and scheming to sin as we have. Anyone with our history should question if they are a true follower of Christ. I did just that, have you?
I’m Concerned for your Soul
The most difficult years of my life followed my sin. This is why I write to you today Clayton. I watched your haters video and have read the many articles exposing your sin and I am concerned for your health, life and soul. My road to recovery was private, long and painful. You my friend are trying to recover publicly without full repentance as you seek to deny many of your transgressions. You are in grave danger of God’s Holy Wrath. Please Clayton surrender before God’s patience with you comes to an end.
My fear is that you are unmoved spiritually by the wretchedness of your sin because you are not in Christ. I know what it is like to be in your situation. If you are indeed a child of God He will break you. It will not be pleasant.
Those who are closest to you have called you to repent and withdraw from ministry. These Godly men know and love you. Do not hate those who seek to bring you to repentance. Those who warn the body of Christ concerning you do so not out of envy or insecurity as you have charged but out of love for Christ and His Church. They are obeying God’s command to warn the flock of sinful men like you and me.
Clayton Jennings, For the sake of Christ, His church and your soul I implore you to repent.
Note: After ten years of discipleship, restoration and sanctification God graciously placed the author in ministry once again however, not as an elder or pastor.