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AG emergency services chaplain recruits at SAGU

Assemblies of God Emergency Services Chaplain Robby Jernigan spoke in four of Southwestern Assemblies of God University's (SAGU) criminal justice classes on Thursday, Feb. 7 and Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

Jernigan briefly shared about the need for chaplains in emergency services with each class before addressing various topics. One class experienced a mock debriefing around the scenario of a highway patrol trooper being shot and killed, illustrating the topic of “Critical Incident Stress Management and Debriefings.”

Another class learned about “Death Notification and Related Issues,” as Jernigan talked about death in the world of emergency services, highlighting the law enforcement officer's role in making a death notification. Jernigan also taught “Ethics & Self-Care,” focusing on the specific needs of first responders and emergency services chaplains. Finally, he spoke from his experience regarding the “Role of the Coroner in Forensic and Criminal Investigations.”

Robby and his wife Betty (Jeter) Jernigan are nationally appointed AG U.S. missionaries. They recruit, train, encourage, and help place chaplains in emergency services departments (fire, law enforcement, EMS and emergency dispatch) across the country.

The Jernigans developed an online chaplaincy-training program and have enrolled over 550 students in 48 states/territories and in 11 foreign countries. Through their mission efforts, they recruit and train others to volunteer as Christian chaplains in their local communities — to provide emotional and spiritual care to responders and citizens in crisis within the community.

Robby shared, "Emergency Services Chaplaincy represents Christ outside the four walls of the church, out where people are hurting and in crisis. At a time in their lives when they desperately need help and have already called for physical help, people are more likely to respond to spiritual and emotional help when it is offered."

"Showing people the love of Christ in action and helping them to reach out to Him in their time of need is at the heart of Christian witnessing," he continued.

Jernigan volunteers as chaplain, firefighter and emergency medical responder (EMT) for the Marshfield, Mo., Fire Department and Marshfield Fire Protection District. Additionally, he is an approved EMS instructor and a deputy coroner. The Assemblies of God National Chaplaincy Dept. endorsed Jernigan as a chaplain in 1985.

Robby earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Auburn University and later earned a master's degree in Bible from AG Theological Seminary (AGTS) in 1981. Betty received her bachelor's degree from SAGU in 1974 and received her master's degree from AGTS in 1981. SAGU's Jeter Prayer Room is named after Betty's parents.

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