Clayton Jennings, Money, Sex, and Cover-ups – The Story From Beginning to End
No doubt that by now you’ve heard of the Clayton Jennings sex scandal. Jennings, a self-described evangelist, and spoken word artist has been accused of, and admitted to, multiple affairs with different women during his ministry preceding his marriage in March of 2016. At the time of this writing, at least 6 women have come to us with accusations of spiritual and sexual misconduct against Jennings. While Clayton has admitted to this sexual misconduct in a general sense, he claims that all of this happened “a long time ago,” and that he has come to full repentance.
I had sex before marriage a long time ago and admitted as much MANY MANY times in videos and messages. There are two sides to every story and there are a lot of lies. I’ve just tried to stay humble and quiet and not tell my side. God bless you all.
Well, he’s right. There are two sides to every story. Now that he claims that he’s been “lied” about, it is necessary to give you the full details of the story from our side–the unadulterated, verifiable side of the story.
It all began in September 2015 when it was brought to our attention that another self-described evangelist and good friend of Jennings’, Blake Reynolds, had been involved in multiple amorous relationships dating back several years. JD Hall penned this post at Pulpit & Pen exposing the allegations against Reynolds, and mentioned, in passing, Reynolds’ relationship with Jennings and their inordinate amount of young, female followers on social media. This is when Jennings began to counter-attack Pulpit & Pen for the supposedly “false” information contained in the article. During this time, Pulpit & Pen had much back and forth with Jennings on social media, and JD subsequently invited him to join our Pulpit & Pen Facebook group. Clayton seemingly, at the time, graciously agreed to do so.
He joined the group, and JD posted the following message in the group:
Okay. Here’s the deal on Clayton Jennings. Spoke to him this evening. Expressed concerns. He wants to be separated from Blake Reynolds in the public view, in terms of how we view them. He says he’s not trying on purpose to feed the female feeding frenzy and “look cool.” He says he’s a big MacArthur and Spurgeon fan, and I expressed why it’s necessary to have your theology inform your homiletics and methodology, that I’m not seeing that come out and he needs to work on that. We discussed exposition and what that means and why it’s important. He had concerns about going on TBN as well, and is supposed to go on Jan Crouch’s program, which he was having second thoughts about. He has a copy of Strange Fire on his desk his dad just gave him and is planning on reading it. He seems genuine. He asked we back off on the criticism because he’s “with us” in everything we believe (I’m not vouching for any of that, just saying). He asked for accountability in regards to whether he’s not feeding the narcissist image. I made a deal with him, which amounts to this – I’m adding him to the Bunker so that the pulpiteers can build a relationship with him and “hold him accountable” on that stuff. I would ask you do that POLITELY and RESPECTFULLY in Christian charity, taking him at his word for these things. DO NOT pounce on him. Send him DM’s with your concerns or posts in the bunker that are respectful, tag him so he can learn. Maybe this will work out. Maybe not. Let’s make a concerted effort.
He was welcomed to the group with literally hundreds of comments graciously agreeing to interact with him on a clean slate, as we agreed to remove all of our posts regarding him and his friend Blake Reynolds. He replied in the thread on this comment with,
Hey Pulpit Bunker crew! I appreciate the add. I had a great conversation with Jordan[JD] tonight on the phone. I’ll be honest, a lot of people have me wrong and have judged me based on social media posts and rumors instead of meeting me, attending a revival, and examining my theology. I’m thankful that Jordan[JD] took the time to converse with me! I walked away with a new respect for him and a realization that we have the same doctrinal beliefs. My goal is simple. I want people to gets saved and God to get the glory for it. I believe from birth, we are all sinners separated from a Holy God while on a fast track to Hell. That is why we need Jesus. Without repentance, trust, and belief in Him, there is no salvation. My age and style causes some to believe I lack spiritual seriousness. That is not the case. I grew up under many faithful men of God who have taught me to run the race with a sober mind and heart for God and His Church. I want to see this generation changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Please attend one of my revivals or listen to one of my sermons. My Facebook page is not a fan page. I do not want fans. It’s my personal page where I try to show a personal side. I follow Billy Graham, C.H. Spurgeon, John MacArthur, and other men who preach the true Gospel of repentance and faith in Jesus. Having said that, I am young and I am learning everyday what it means to DIE to myself and FOLLOW Jesus. Please continue to pray for me as I grow and also pray that the people who get saved at my revivals show fruit of genuine conversion. God bless you all! – Clayton
Okay, so as you can see, it appeared we were off to a good start with Mr. Jennings. However, the love-fest between Jennings and the Pulpit & Pen Facebook group was short lived. Within a few days, Clayton Jennings put out a promotion of Hillsong on social media. JD Hall, in the Facebook group, politely asked Clayton,
Clayton Jennings, why did you do a video promoting Hillsong LA? Please take time to research Hillsong. Here’s a link to all the articles at P&P about this cult (I cannot in good conscience call it a church)
His relationship with Pulpit & Pen began to go south quickly. While many members of the group graciously tried to explain to Clayton the dangers and heresies perpetually promulgated at Hillsong, Clayton became exceedingly defensive. He engaged with Pulpit & Pen contributor, Seth Dunn, and started personally and viciously attacking Seth and his family with ad-hominems. He then scoured through Seth’s personal Facebook page for dirt to use against him, and publicly posted private pictures of Seth’s young daughter, while labeling Seth derogatory names, and belittling the amount of work Seth has done in school.
These pictures of Seth’s family along with derogatory rhetoric quickly spread through Twitter and Facebook, causing many to unrightfully defame and denounce Pulpit & Pen. Saiko Woods, another long-time defender of Carl Lentz and Hillsong subsequently joined the chorus of attacks against us.
It was at that time that JD Hall personally reached out once again to Clayton Jenning, which did not go well at all. Clayton then began threatening lawsuits against us, and getting his “personal friend,” John MacArthur involved, claiming we were “bullying” him. Clayton Jennings was never “bullied.” The entire conversational threads still exist in the Facebook group, and every single encounter between a group member and Jennings was more than gracious coming from us. Most of Jennings’ comments and replies were hostile and accusatory. However, Clayton proceeded to threaten JD.
In the middle of the text exchange below, while calling JD a “child of the devil” among other unsubstantiated accusations, JD then acknowledges that he has no choice but to go back to warning people about Jennings since Jennings had no desire to acknowledge and correct his serious theological and orthopraxic errors. It was right at that moment that Jennings sent, via Paypal, one thousand dollars to JD, and requested to quietly go their separate ways.
Now, keep in mind, at this time, neither Pulpit & Pen nor JD Hall knew beyond speculation that Clayton, during this exact time of exchange was caught up in the middle of multiple alleged sexual affairs with several young women. One can only ponder the real reason Clayton Jennings sent that money requesting separation. We will leave that to the reader to decide for certain. However, JD did not accept the money on the basis that it appeared to be a bribe. Of course, Clayton did not want any further investigation into his current conduct and actions for obvious reasons.
Fast-forward one year later, the first alleged victim comes forward, contacting Pulpit & Pen with her story of sexual misconduct and spiritual abuse perpetrated against her by Clayton Jennings along with insistent pressure for her to use the morning-after pill (an abortifacient drug that kills a living human being). Pulpit & Pen reviewed all of the text messages between her and Jennings as well as a legally recorded conversation after their “break-up” between her and Jennings, which was mediated by Jennings’ father and pastor, Don Jennings of Harbor Shores Church, Indianapolis. It was at this time that myself, JD, and Michael Macarvage of Christian News all reached out to Jennings who referred us to his father. We all spent a significant amount of time speaking with his father. Much of what his father told us did not add up and match the verifiable evidence and audio recordings we had listened to. Pulpit & Pen first released a general post and call for Clayton Jennings to come clean and repent of his misconduct, to which he completely ignored. That article can be found here.
After several days of contemplation, and continuing to watch Jennings promote himself to his vast following of young women who groveled at his feet, Polemics Report decided to go public with the story from the first alleged victim in two separate posts, found here and here. It was at this time that one of Clayton’s mentors, Joshua Feuerstein, contacted me, stating that he “knew” that JD’s reports were inaccurate because he is “very close to him.”
I referred him to JD, the author of the article. Turns out, it was only the tip of the iceberg. However, at this time, the remaining alleged victims had not come forward yet. Feuerstein insisted he knew all of Clayton’s secrets, and that these reports were inaccurate, and that Jennings was fully repentant.
After attempting to make the biblical case that Clayton was not bearing fruits in keeping with repentance, i.e. removing himself from a position that causes him to stumble by continuing to minister and preach to the same victims he abused, Feuerstein replied with ad-hominem, of course, and insisted that we and Polemics Report remove the “inaccurate” post detailing Clayton’s abuse of women as well as his ministerial position. When JD refused to comply with Feuerstein’s demand, Feuerstein alluded to legal retaliation against him.
Since this interaction with Feuerstein, another of Clayton’s mentors, Tony Nolan, put out a video stating that Clayton had come to him in brokenness, and was seeking restoration. Notice, the video was focused on Clayton’s restoration, not about reconciliation with God, seeking forgiveness and salvation in Christ, and making amends with the women (of whom the rest had not come forward yet) that he abused. Clayton Jennings then, according to his website, postponed all of his speaking events, yet promised to come back. We reached out to a pastor of a church who had planned to have Clayton speak and told him of Clayton’s misconduct. This pastor spoke to Clayton and told us that Clayton assured him that this was a “one-time thing,” and that he was repentant.
It turns out that Clayton was outright lying to this pastor who graciously accepted Clayton’s word and testimony of repentance. Shortly after this, at least five more alleged victims have come forward. While not all of them were willing to go public with their stories, they have all been independently verified by multiple news outlets. You can see the stories here, here, here, here, and here. It has now been confirmed to Pulpit & Pen that Clayton’s license to minister and preach has been revoked by the elders of his home church and that his father and pastor are now under investigation by the elders of Harbor Shores for sweeping Jennings’ sexual misconduct under the rug. The elders were unaware of this misconduct before it became public. It has also been confirmed that a mentor close Jennings has requested (or will be requesting) that Clayton Jennings step down completely from ministry, remove his website, and repent and seek full forgiveness and restoration to the Body of Christ, not ministry.
After these allegations became widely known, The Christian Post reached out to Jennings’ ministry regarding the ostensible bribe, to which Clayton’s team responded,
Clayton sent JD Hall $1,000 after JD posted a video saying he had no money to fix his truck. This was a year ago. JD was not investigating any allegations until two months ago. When Clayton sent him the money, he did it to be kind and to help JD even though JD had always been one to make fun of Clayton online. JD then lied and said it was a bribe. Not true.
You can see the paragraphs above regarding the money and make the call for yourself. But keep in mind, the post, Capturing Weak Women, had most certainly been posted at the time, and Jennings and Blake Reynolds were most certainly being investigated by Pulpit & Pen at the time. One thing is for certain: Clayton’s priority has been clear throughout this entire debacle–to protect his image and continue his ministry. As of the time of this writing, Clayton Jennings’ website is still up, his product line is still available for sale, and he is still accepting donations from his followers online. He still has not reached out to the victims he abused to make amends.
[Contributed by Jeff Maples]
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