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John C. Jernigan collection

Identifier: M0004
Jernigan @ mic reading, jpg

Scope and Contents

The John C. Jernigan Collection offers insights into the work and thought of a significant leader in the Church of God from about 1926 to 1954. The collection is limited to the years of his ministerial leadership.

Surviving members of the Jernigan family made materials in the collection available to the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center in 1998.

The most important item from the Jernigan years as a state overseer is the Overseer's Monthly Report Book for the five-year period 1931–1936. It documents his travel mileage, lists the churches in which he preached and notes his income month by month. Other ministry notes such as “working on state tabernacle during April” also appear.

The collection's principal focus highlights the years 1944–1948 when John C. Jernigan served as General Overseer of the Church of God. The collection contains limited correspondence for the period, those articles he published in the Church of God Evangel, photographs—principally, although not exclusively—of boards and committees, serials, books, certificates, and miscellaneous items.

The photographs are housed in protective storage in the general photographic collection within the Research Center although photocopies of the photographs are included here for the convenience of researchers.


  • 1921–1980

Conditions Governing Use

This material may be protected under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use any digitized or otherwise copied material from our holdings for private study, scholarship, or research. Though the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.

Biographical / Historical

John C. Jernigan was a significant leader in the Church of God from 1926 until his retirement in 1956. He was born to Fane Lee Jernigan and Annie Atnip Jernigan September 21, 1900, in White County, Tennessee. He was converted April 21, 1921.

While attending Bible Training School, he met Addie Bell Hendricks of Willisburg, Kentucky, who was already a licensed minister in the Church of God. They were married September 18, 1923, by E. J. Boehmer in the Boehmer home.

They were blessed with five children: Winona Ruth, Frederick Lee, Lois Mae, John C. Junior, who died in early childhood, and Jimmie. John C. Jernigan served as a pastor from 1923-1926 when he was named overseer of Virginia. Following his years of ministry as a state overseer, he served as president of Lee College, assistant general overseer, and general overseer.

Together with leaders of seven other Pentecostal bodies, John C. Jernigan was influential in organizing the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America and became its first chairman.

When the Advisory Council to the Church of God general executive committee was formed in 1965, he became a member and served on the council throughout the remainder of his life.

Jernigan wrote numerous books during his lifetime (See note below). Biographical information is included in From the Gambling Den to the Pulpit: A Short Autobiography of John C. Jernigan.

Following an automobile accident, John Jernigan retired to his home in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He died May 6, 1980, and lies buried in Hilcrest Memorial Gardens in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Significant Personal Dates

1900 – Born White County Tennessee (September 21)

1921 – Began in ministry

1922 – 1923 Pastor Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee

1923 – 1924 Ministered in McMinnville, Campaign, and Bone Cave, Tennessee

1924 – 1925 Pastor, Copper Hill, Tennessee

1926 – 1928 Overseer of Virginia

1928 – 1929 Pastor, Weatherford, Texas

1929 – 1930 Pastor, Eldorado, Illinois

1930 – 1936 Overseer of Kentucky

1936 – 1939 Overseer of Georgia

1939 – 1941 Overseer of Tennessee

1941 – 1944 Overseer of Florida

1944 – 1948 General Overseer

1948 – 1950 Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of North America

1948 – 1951 Overseer of Virginia

1951 – 1952 President of Lee College

1952 – 1954 Assistant General Overseer

1965 – 1980 Member of Advisory Council General Executive Committee

1980 – Died (May 6)

Significant Events During Tenure as General Overseer


– The nation is divided into six districts with an Assistant General Overseer appointed over each. The plan is abolished after one year.

– Four-year limitations are placed on administrative offices, the supreme councilmen, and state overseers.

– Sunday School and Youth Literature Board are appointed.

– Home for Children is founded in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

– Churches of God are organized in Alaska, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda.


– Church of God is established in Philippine Islands.


– Assemblies are changed from annual to biennial meetings.

– First National Sunday School and Youth Director, Ralph E. Williams, named.

– J.H. Ingram organizes the Church of God in Egypt and the Middle East. Churches are also established in Uruguay and the Virgin Islands.

– Office of Business Manager of the Publishing House is created: E.C. Clark is appointed.


– Bible Training School moves from Sevierville to Cleveland, Tennessee and named Lee College.

– Regional Sunday School and Youth Congresses are begun.

– International Preparatory Institute opens in San Antonio, Texas.


– Church of God and seven other bodies form the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America.

– The Declaration of Faith is adopted.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 containers)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


The John C. Jernigan Collection consists of items donated to the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center by the Jernigan family in 1998. The materials include correspondence, articles published in the Church of God Evangel, books, serials, photographs, and miscellaneous items. The focus is on the years he served as a national leader.

Although the Collection is not large, it provides primary sources for understanding John Jernigan's thought, particularly his interest in young ministers. Five years of monthly reports--1931-1936--offer an important insight into the ministry of a productive state overseer during this period in the history of the Church of God. Original order has been preserved.

Books written or compiled by John C. Jernigan

Advice to Ministers – Church BV4010.J47 – 1948

Doctrinal Sermon Outlines – Church BX7034.Z6 J473 – 1940

Evangelistic Sermon Outlines – Church BX7034.Z6 J474 – 1940

From the Gambling Den to the Pulpit: A Short Autobiography of John C. Jernigan — Church BX7034.Z8 J47 – 1939

Homiletic Treasure – Church BX7034.Z6 J475 – 1940

Illustrated Sermon Themes – Church BX7034.Z6 J4754 – 1940

My Text Book: Sermon Notes – Church BX7034.Z6 J4757 – 1940

My Text Book:Set of Three Volumes – Church BX7034.Z6 J47574 – 1940

Pastoral Sermon Outlines – Church BX7034.Z6 J4758 – 1940

Preacher’s Gold Mine – Church BV4223.P74 – 1900

Preacher’s Gold Mine: Three Volumes of Sermon Outlines by Eminent Ministers – Church BV4223.P74 – 1940

Sermon Outlines – Church BX7034.Z6 J476 — 1940

Sermon Outlines with Helps – Church BX7034.Z6 J477 — 1940

Sermon Outlines with Helps: For Ministers and Christian Workers – Church BX7034.Z6 J477 – 1929

Sermons in Nutshells – Church BX7034.Z6 J478 – 1940
John C. Jernigan Collection
Madison Olson
March 9, 2020
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Hal Bernard Dixon Jr. Pentecostal Research Center Repository

Dixon Pentecostal Research Center
260 11th Street NE
Cleveland TN 37311 USA