Back in 2017, ChurchWatch Central posted a series of articles on the notorious sexual predator Clayton Jennings. Moving forward to 2019, we see the re-emergence of this predator as he threatens to ‘expose’ those who exposed him. J.D. Hall from Polemics Report brings us up to date with the ongoing saga of Clayton Jennings.
J.D. Hall writes:
I broke the Clayton Jennings’ sex abuse and spiritual abuse scandal on November 23, 2016 in the post, Celebrity Preacher, Clayton Jennings: Sex, Alcohol and the Morning After Pill. I first warned about Jennings and what I perceived to be his attempt to lure women with his lasciviousness a year prior, on September 24, 2015. After the original post in 2015, many women contacted me to say that Jennings had promised them marriage and groomed them for a long period of time before having sexual relations and then dumping them. Others claimed he asked them to come to his hotel room during a revival service for prayer, and instead had sex with them. Almost all reported that the evangelist had told them this behavior was God’s will. Before publishing the account, I sent the evidence (screenshots, phone records, and voice audio recordings) to Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio and other evidence to Michael Marcavage at Christian News Network to provide independent third-party verification of our evidence, given the nature of the story and the need to protect the victim’s identities.
I also sent information to the “Survivor Blog Gals,” including Julie Anne Smith, who specializes in spiritual abuse. Julie Anne and I rarely see eye to eye on anything, but I asked for advice on how to best provide care for the women. I made sure they had spiritual counsel and did my best to protect them pastorally. Julie Anne will verify this. It will be shocking to many that I consulted the Survivor Blog Gals, but I did my best to be responsible in how I handled this situation and to make sure others had the evidence I had.
In the end, many young women would come forward. Some told their story. One gave her name, bravely. Those who didn’t share their names were repentant and extremely sorry, except for one, whose story I did not tell. They had all personally repented of their sin, professed Christ as Savior, and were working with one kind of counselor or another to overcome their grief after having trusted someone they believed to be a “man of God.”
My reporting on Clayton Jennings was subsequently covered in other outlets who found the information credible, including The Christian Post, Charisma News, and others.
In my years at Pulpit & Pen, my journalistic reporting has been cited in the Washington Post, the UK Daily Mail, the Today Show, and virtually every major secular news outlet and Christian news outlet under the sun. I have broken leading worldwide news stories. Yesterday, I did an interview with the New York Times regarding my reporting, which they found credible enough to seek an interview for a story they’re working on. If I were wrong on the Clayton Jennings story, or factually wrong on any story, I’d have been sued by now. No one has attempted it. Truth is the ultimate defense against libel.
The evidence against Clayton Jennings was so clear that his celebrity mentor, Tony Nolan, rebuked him and handed him over, stating that he was unrepentant. Penguin Books pulled his book. Ultimately, Jennings’ own church – with his father as the pastor – revoked his license to preach.
Again, there was video evidence, audio evidence, and digital evidence of his repeated and prolific spiritual abuse in which he capitalized on his celebrity to hook up (often under false pretenses) with his followers, by convincing them it was God’s good plan.
Several years have passed, and for whatever reason, today Jennings has lashed out at me and – far more importantly – the victims of his abuse. All I am is the guy who told the story, and the women are the ones who told their story. Jennings is the most prolific serial abuser I have ever covered, and today he’s begun to dox his victims.
While Jennings has accused me of bullying a teenager to the point of suicide, regarding a five-year-old incident in which I unwisely and sinfully had a three-tweet exchange with a teenager whose father I was covering for his fraudulent life story (I asked him if he spoke Arabic at home twice, and then said because of his age I would disengage the conversation), it’s not me I’m concerned about. The teenager committed suicide a month after our brief interaction, which was tragic and grievous beyond words. But, there was no evidence (or even serious suggestion) that it was in any way related to our brief exchange a month earlier. Even though we disagree on many issues, Wade Burleson – who was instrumental in the #ChurchToo victims’ advocacy movement – made this point at the time. I have never been charged with any kind of civil or criminal liability whatsoever in the matter, but I was – and am – repentant for my actions in which my journalistic pursuit of truth overthrew my pastoral sensibilities. As is usually the case when I or Pulpit & Pen break a news story that people don’t like, the story is retold minus the pertinent facts. Oddly enough, many of the hateful comments we received today were from people under the false impression that the teenager was gay (he was not) and bullied for it. On circumstance defining points like this, facts matter. Read more here.
Source: J.D. Hall, Pulpit & Pen blog, https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/03/02/breaking-clayton-jennings-doxes-attacks-his-abuse-victims/?fbclid=IwAR3jd1TU9aFEe6WbwTOZZ33VBci9aaelpKyh2TSoibdkPNhBpGLyd-lWbmc Published March 3, 2019. (Accessed March 4, 2019.)
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