A longtime North Carolina preacher celebrated his 98th birthday on Tuesday by going skydiving with his family.
As reported by The Christian Post, pastor Roy Jernigan recently when skydiving for the first time in his life. He went with his daughter and granddaughter.
A day before skydiving, Jernigan shared insights on his birthday celebration on his Preacher Roy Ministries Facebook page.
“Before I get into tonight, tomorrow is my 98th birthday. I had a lovely, lovely, birthday party on Saturday night at Parker’s barbeque in Wilson. There were 75 people there. I didn’t know I had that many friends in the world but what a joy and a blessing,” he quipped. “I certainly appreciate everyone who was there.”
“A lot of people say why in the world are you at your age [going skydiving]. I said because I couldn’t get up the nerve any younger,” he added.
“It’s a challenge, and I’m not gonna say a whole lot more about that tonight, but Lord willing nothing happens on Thursday night, I’ll give you a report of the experience. And as I told my son, Larry, when he was talking to me about this, I said, I have walked on water, but I have never flown through the air. Got to give that a chance,” Jernigan said. “He said, ‘When did you walk on water?’ Well, I was in the Arctic Ocean, and we were frozen in, and I walked around the ship. The water was real cold. As a matter of fact, it was ice, but it was water.”
After completing the jump on Tuesday, Jernigan offered some words of wisdom about growing older.
“My advice to anyone: if God blesses you and gives you the number of years that he’s given me, burn out your life living for others. You’ll never regret it,” he told WECT News 6.
“I didn’t think he’d go through with it [...] not much surprises me these days from him. He’s a risk taker, I guess,” granddaughter April Lintner told the outlet.
Pastor Scott Netterville of the Bourbonnais, Illinois-based Ambassador Baptist Ministries told The Christian Post that he was not surprised to hear about Jernigan’s latest endeavor.
“That sounds like something Jernigan would do,” Netterville, who has known Jernigan for around six years, said.
“The first time I met him, it was summertime down in South Texas. He was up on a ladder working on the siding on his house. I think he was 92 years old,” he added. “He is a very fit man.”
Jernigan has had a life full of interesting experiences, including serving as a Naval Corpsman in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and understudying as a clown in the Ringling Brothers Circus during World War II.
Photo courtesy: ©Jongjit Pramchom/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.