- B. JERNIGAN (Methodist)
- B. Jernigan, who later rose among the giants of Holiness preachers, was carrying a
plow on his shoulders, praying and weeping when the fire fell and God sanctified him. He lost his plow and the carnal mind at the same time, but he got the blessing of a sanctified heart! He wrote:
These meetings were always attended by old-time power, and there would sometimes be a
hundred people converted in one campmeeting. Often they would fall off their seats like dead men and lie for hours, to come through shouting in the old-time way.
At one of these meetings the writer, then a nine year old boy, was gloriously converted, and
the next Sunday united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, where he held his membership until he was sanctified, and then was compelled to leave it on account of his preaching holiness…
A great revival meeting was held in the Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in
Greenville, Texas, where the writer and his wife held their church membership. This meeting was conducted by Rev. E. G. Kilgore. The whole town was stirred and many people found the Lord. At the close of this revival there were several prayermeetings started in different parts of the town, and put in charge of laymen.
There were no holiness people in Greenville, Texas at that time, but Rev. E. C. DeJernett
moved there that spring, and made preparations to begin the Greenville holiness campmeeting that summer, although he at that time did not preach the doctrine of entire sanctification very clearly; but he attended these prayermeetings and aided in them by exhortation and testimony. Mrs. D. A. Hill of Tyler, Texas, came to Greenville that summer to visit some of her people and, hearing of this live prayermeeting, she attended the first one that she could get to, and gave a clear, definite testimony to the experience of entire sanctification as a second work of grace; telling of her consecration, and how the blessing came, then she began to shout and to praise God for what she had received. Her face shone with the glory, and her voice gave no uncertain sound. This stirred the people and especially the leader [apparently C. B. Jernigan], who had never heard such a story
before, but his very heart longed for the blessing, the very thing that he had been ignorantly seeking for years. Could it be possible that there was such an experience for humanity?
He went away from that meeting determined to put God to the test, as Sister Hill had told
them. He went home to tell his wife of the good news that he had heard. He did not attend church that night at his own church, just six doors from his home. He had been a regular attendant there, but had never been told that God had such a “balm” for the sin-sick soul. He could not sleep that night, but rolled and tossed on his bed. He ate no breakfast the next morning. Old-time conviction had seized him. He must be wholly sanctified!
He arose early the next morning and assisted his wife in getting breakfast as usual, while
the hired man fed the team, but his whole mind was absorbed in the one thought: “That testimony–I must have the blessing!”
He turned to his wife and said, “I believe old Dr. Wright is a hypocrite.”
“Why?” she asked.
“He keeps talking about people whom he knows who are sanctified; and I want him to ‘put
up or shut up’–get the blessing and tell me how; or quit talking about it.”
“Why,” his wife replied, “didn’t Sister Hill tell you how to get it?”
This ran through him like a dagger, and he left the room weeping, saying, “I’ll have the
blessing today or die alone in the woods.”
About this time the breakfast bell rang, he went into the dining room and sat down at the
table and returned thanks, but could not eat a bite; excused himself and left the room.
Soon the hired man came down to the barn where he had gone, and they were off to the
woods three miles away, where they were to work that day on a lease in some new ground that they were plowing. The hired man started the plow, and he went to work chopping wood. The plow did not give satisfaction and he was called, and told that they could get Mr. Tally’s plow at his home a half mile away.
He started at once for the plow with his head bowed while he prayed to God to be
sanctified. On his return with the plow on his shoulder praying and weeping as he went, the “fire fell” and he was gloriously sanctified. He lost his plow, but got the blessing, and from that day has had little use for a plow. He told the Lord that if He would hitch the Holy Ghost to the gospel plow, that he would take off the back-band, put the clevis in the top notch, and ride the beam, and plow a furrow that all hell could not cover up.
“Immediately he conferred not with flesh and blood,” but began at once to hunt some one to
preach to. He saw the hired man struggling with the plow, and ran to him, telling him about his new-found experience, while he stood trembling but would not kneel for the blessing in the field, but promptly asked, “Where is the plow?”
From that day forward his theme has been the baptism with the Holy Ghost that sanctifies.
The farm was left behind and the call to evangelize Hunt county, Texas was answered, and there was only one town in that county that he did not assist in holding a meeting in, beside dozens of schoolhouses and he saw hundreds of his own neighbors and friends sweep into the kingdom.
Sources: Rev. L. S. Boardman and “Pioneer Days”
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HOW THEY ENTERED CANAAN (A Collection of Holiness Experience Accounts) Compiled by Duane V. Maxey
Vol. I — Named Accounts