Why are we continuing to expose Clayton Jennings? When we began this endeavor, Jennings sent me a sizable amount of money (which I returned, calling it a bribe), and then one of Jenning’s “mentors” threatened to sue me. After it became clear that we wouldn’t relent, Jennings released a video with a different mentor, advocating his restoration. Jennings then performed a rap piece, narcissistically displaying his talent while confessing to generalized immorality. The video claimed his accusers wanted him dead (a not-so-subtle plea for sympathy) and claimed that “some” of the stories were false (an attack on his victims), while not clearing up what exactly were lies (none were). Meanwhile, in this “path of restoration” led by his mentor, Jennings has not contacted the victims with whom we are in contact, to personally apologize. Simply put, this is not a man who needs restored to ministry; this is a man who needs to be saved.
The seedy darkness of the American revivalist movement is one in which products (like Clayton Jennings) are packaged and sold and what is lost in the star-studded, celebrity-centered movement is the Gospel itself. If these evangelists don’t know what penitent faith is, if they aren’t aware that genuine saving faith leads to a lifestyle of repentance, if they don’t know that the Gospel fundamentally changes people and saves them from the passions of their former ignorance, then they are blind guides…and this explains a generation of revivalist-born pseudo-Christians in America who are twice the sons of hell as the rapping, promiscuous hipsters who had them repeat an incantation or raise their hand with every head bowed.
We will be releasing another victim’s testimony tomorrow.
Mid 2015-winter 2015.
I originally met Clayton Jennings through his ministry, which I followed on Instagram. He had private-messaged me, thanking me for the support and informed me that he had an event coming up near me. He invited my family and I and asked for my number so he could send me the details.
Following this, I immediately received friendly yet unrelated texts from Clayton. We quickly developed a friendship, and started showing romantic interest, pursuing me heavily. We texted and spoke on the phone for long hours, where Clayton revealed to me his belief that Jesus had told him we were meant to be together and I was the future wife God had chosen for him.
…Clayton revealed to me his belief that Jesus had told him we were meant to be together and I was the future wife God had chosen for him.
Due to my work, I regularly travel and in a few months would be scheduled in Indiana. Clayton had offered to show me the surrounding areas. He told me he didn’t want me staying in a hotel due to being so far away from home (2000 miles) and the dangers of being by myself. Since we would be out and about most of the time anyway and had various plans, he said it would be most reasonable financially and time-wise to stay in his guest room.
He began exhibiting almost obsessive behavior, sending hundreds of texts if I did not respond within a few hours time and demanded daily pictures so he could see his “future wife”. Though Clayton was still extremely charming and likable, I couldn’t help but notice he was different than the personality he portrayed online. While I did view the behavior as strange, the connection between us felt very close and really did feel like a God sent “whirlwind romance”. His obsession for photos evolved quickly into “Bae pics” or nude photos, claiming he needed them because of the distance.
His obsession for photos evolved quickly into “Bae pics” or nude photos, claiming he needed them because of the distance.
I never sent them and avoided this, to which he would get upset and pressure me with hundreds of clocks, angry faces, broken hearts, etc. attempting to convince me that it was okay because it was for “our eyes only and we were meant to be together.”
After a couple months, when we finally met each other in person, Clayton in a non-joking manner introduced me as his new wife to our waiters and expressed how much he loved me, referring to me as “Mrs. ____ Jennings”. He did this so convincingly, that the waitress brought over some other employees and they congratulated the newlyweds. I was stunned by this and was unsure of how to respond. He took me shopping for our first home which he said we would be moving into shortly after we were married.
When back in his small hometown, Noblesville, IN, he began acting strange and hid me around other people, claiming it was due to him being an evangelist and very well known in the area, he couldn’t be seen with a girl until we were officially engaged. At his house, alone together for the first time, he was immediately very sexually aggressive and forceful to which I became upset and due to the fast pace/oddity of the entire situation, expressed my fear of his possible bad intentions. I shared with him my lack of experience both sexually and in dating and the high value I place on it. I brought up his “50 shades of Grace” spoken word, explaining an experience like that was my biggest fear. Clayton laughed at how “ridiculous” he thought I was being, and explained he would be publicly announcing our engagement to his ministry in the very near future. He added how his family was so excited to meet me and had even planned a nice evening for me next weekend in hopes of getting to know me better. (It was later revealed his family never even knew I existed.) He repeatedly stressed that our relationship was “official” now, and assured me he has only ever been with one girl, which was his long time ex fiancé Jamie so he takes relationships and sex VERY seriously.
At dinner Clayton ordered me two alcoholic drinks, and after I told him I couldn’t drink anymore, as even small amounts of alcohol effect me greatly. Once back home he said he had purchased a special bottle of wine “just for me.” and expressed how long he had waited for this occasion. Being 21 for only a few days, I explained to him that I had never had wine before, and thought the large 12-16oz dinner glasses he poured me were equivalent to a beer. While finishing the bottle, he had us watch his ministry films and sermons. I became so intoxicated I had difficulty walking and was falling over. Clayton dominantly initiated sexual fornication.
While finishing the bottle, he had us watch his ministry films and sermons. I became so intoxicated I had difficulty walking and was falling over.
Afterward, I spent much of the night in his bathroom crying with my mom on the phone while he was asleep upstairs. (I later noticed Clayton’s drink appeared to be hardly touched.) The next day I expressed my feelings of upset and worry. Clayton told me it was good that we had sex because it makes us trust each other more (as he doesn’t trust “ANYONE”), and it was okay because we were getting married anyway. He assured me he made love to me as his future wife, and would never use a girl because he couldn’t do that to Jesus as he would have to answer for it. He swore on a bible that he “wasn’t going anywhere” and could be trusted. Clayton was very adamant about the Plan B pill and explained that his entire ministry would be ruined if I were to get pregnant.
Clayton was very adamant about the Plan B pill and explained that his entire ministry would be ruined if I were to get pregnant.
After these few days spent together and time for me to return home, he drastically changed and became very cold. He stopped communication and when I attempted to confront him, he answered the phone saying “What do you want? Are you pregnant? I have to go.” He later explained he couldn’t be in a relationship due to just being informed by his doctor that he was dying and was too afraid I’d leave him, claiming it was a sign from God that he needed to focus all of his energy on Jesus and “telling the world” with the short time he has left. He didn’t want me telling anyone we knew each other or what had happened and graciously gave me the option of having a secret friends with benefits relationship. Otherwise we couldn’t continue any contact, because it would just be “too emotionally painful for him”. We didn’t continue contact.
After seeing his spoken word “Confessions” about his heartbreaking apparent depression and inability to trust, I reached out to Clayton in concern and asked him to talk with me about what had happened, as I was left with so much confusion, pain and regret and simply wanted to understand so I could heal. I told him how shame had consumed me and my faith was being affected as a result of what happened. He responded to me saying “Hey I don’t have time to talk now or later. Take care.” Then called me, yelling “What don’t you get?! There was never a relationship, that was just two people who were physically attracted to each other!” and told me “you meant nothing to me.”
My mom became directly involved at this point, to which Clayton was given several chances over a series of a few months to explain his behavior and confess/repent. He repeatedly made up horrifying lies, described in detail for hours. These included his inability to ever be in a relationship due to the trauma of being kidnapped and raped as a child, and faked a severe mental disorder he has never been diagnosed with (according to his father), even showing fake medication to avoid any consequences or exposure. (It was confirmed by his mother and father, Pastor Don Jennings, these were all fabricated lies and it was discovered that he had actually been secretly engaged to Jamie over this span of time, and I have since spoken to one other woman with whom he had a relationship during this time period [Editors Note: that information is also forthcoming].
During this final meeting at his father’s church, Don attempted to control what was said, especially with Clayton, who responded only when directed by his father. Clayton attempted to lie and twist many of the accusations until evidence was brought out. Don “swept this all under the rug”, and stressed that he wanted no further contact between any of us because “no good can come from it”.
Immediately after the meeting, Clayton admitted to me that he lied yet again during his so called “confession” in front of our parents. He asked me for a secret friends with benefits relationship, explaining things with Jamie were very “tumultuous”. He said though he didn’t have relationship feelings for me, he had such a strong attraction to me physically that we “never know what the future may hold.” As long as I didn’t tell anyone and stopped questioning him, everything should be fine now, he told me. He also told me he was shocked that he was “in trouble” with my parents because he thought my father didn’t care about me. Clayton attempted to text me several times after this, though I never responded.
I was so shocked by all the things I learned and witnessed that day I’m still trying to find ways to come to terms with it. I have never received a genuine apology from Clayton, and I don’t expect to.I have since learned from a main media source in Indiana that other women allegedly attempted to report Clayton for faking “God sent” engagements and relationships for sex, only months before my incident. This is when I decided to reach out to JD Hall.
The stark difference between how Clayton portrays himself on social media and the darkness he exhibits in secret is truly chilling and difficult to wrap your mind around. I spent months in devastation listening to Clayton cry, and crying with him, for hours over his fabricated stories of childhood rape and mental disorders resulting in an inability to trust and even his desires to die. It instilled in me a deep brokenness and a panicked need to help him, believing the person I cared for so deeply for couldn’t even have a functioning relationship because of these traumas. When I was met with the reality that none of this was true but in fact a commonly used tactic of his to simply defile women’s bodies in the church, and merely to excuse his behavior, it was so incomprehensible to me that it left me feeling as though I were insane. I became sick with depression and a new brokenness much more dark and sinister.
Though this experience has been one of the most damaging and disturbing things I’ve ever endured, Clayton’s spoken words “50 Shades of Grace” and “What Will You Do” (which he labels “Based on True Events”) from 2013, two years BEFORE I met him are what have haunted me and caused me to remain in therapy for over a year. I watched in horror realizing that I was not the first, or the last, woman on a long list of victims. They are no acting production. They’re real, and he has been living them out for years, scene by scene, line by line.
“Of a pale faced kid who wouldn’t dare deny you with my lips, but rather with my care, because I don’t care. I want to look like I love you more than I want to love you, I would rather talk about you than live like you.”
“Bound to be another let down, destined to say I’m sorry with my head down, because this world looks so good with a pretty girl on a sleepless night.”
“Why does this world look so good with every lust filled taste? And I preach Jesus but I deny you to your face.”
“I realized the pain, regret, and hurt…. that sex is a tattoo, it only takes one night to leave its mark on you.”
“You wish you could go back, but even if you did, you’d just end up with some girl in the sack. Because sex is your God and you have to have it, and one girl isn’t enough, because now you’re an addict.”
“He’ll just use you for your body until he gets his fill, then it’s on to the next with a booty and a chest. Because it was never about love, it was only about sex.
“You’re overcome with regret, you feel filth and misery. So you jump in the shower and you scrub and scrub. But no amount of soap can make you feel clean enough. Because you took the lie and you gave yourself away.”
The horror and irony of learning these things from you, Clayton, by the manipulation of my faith in Jesus has been the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced in my life. You know the damage you cause; you write poems about it. To realize you went so far out of your way to seek me out and intentionally inflict this upon me is beyond comprehension. You don’t just “break hearts”. You have stolen my innocence, and many others. You abuse women spiritually, sexually, and psychologically and you leave lifelong damage. I have been crippled with fear for the past year deciding if exposing the most intimate moments of my life is worth keeping you from abusing others. Through much prayer and soul searching, I believe the need for this story to come to light is truly God’s will, for only in truth can the glory of God be revealed and healing through forgiveness begin. God has given me the strength and courage.
Now I’m telling the world.