North Carolina Preacher Skydives For 98th Birthday

"If you have fear, you don't have faith."

Roy Jernigan Skydive

Skydive Coastal Carolinas

Roy Jernigan celebrated his 98th birthday surrounded by family this week. They ate barbecue together on Saturday, and on Tuesday, they jumped from a plane over Southport, North Carolina. 

“I didn’t think he’d go through with it [...] not much surprises me these days from him,” his granddaughter, April Lintner, told WECT. “He’s a risk taker I guess.”

Jernigan, who was born in Selma in 1925, currently lives in La Grange with his daughter, Linda, who made the jump with him and April on Tuesday. 

"Fear is a lack of faith, that's what the Bible says," he told a friend of his decision to take the leap, per WRAL. "If you have fear, you don't have faith."

Roy Jernigan

Skydive Coastal Carolinas

Skydiving is just another interesting chapter in the great-grandfather’s fascinating life. After a stint in with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Jernigan joined the Navy during World War II and continued to serve through the Korean conflict, Vietnam, and the Cuban missile crisis. After retiring from the military in 1967, he entered the ministry. He and his wife, Lizzie Mae, served as missionaries to Native Americans for 52 years.

Jernigan continues his ministry work through his Facebook page, Preacher Roy Ministries, where he gives sermons from home.

Speaking with WRAL, Jernigan credited his longevity to "the good lord and black coffee," and swore he can still do six pushups.

"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,” he told WECT. “You’ll never regret it.”

Happy birthday, Roy!

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