New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College announced the appointment of Nathan Jernigan to the Leavell College faculty. Jernigan will begin his new role in June 2022.
Jernigan, worship pastor at Northbrook Baptist Church in Cullman, Alabama, will join the Leavell College faculty as assistant professor of music and worship. He will lead the bachelor of arts in worship ministry and bachelor of arts in music programs in Leavell College. Jernigan will also serve as the coordinator of chapel worship.
“It is increasingly clear that institutions like ours need to be able to train both traditional church musicians and contemporary worship leaders for ministry in our churches. However, it is also very difficult to find faculty members with the appropriate credentials and skill for these complexities,” said Jamie Dew, president of NOBTS and Leavell College. “I am so thankful to God for leading us to Nate Jernigan. Nate is incredibly gifted, spirit filled, and kind-hearted. Though he is new to the classroom, he is exactly what we need at NOBTS and Leavell College to train the men and women our churches need for worship leadership.”
Greg Wilton, dean of Leavell College, commended Jernigan's passion for worship and his leadership skills.
“What excites me the most about Nate Jernigan is his passion to develop and deploy others through music and worship,” Wilton said. “Nate has a proven track record of not only leading well, but also teaching others to lead well and giving them ample opportunities to utilize their gifts for the church and for the mission.”
Jernigan earned a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance from William Carey University in Hattiesburg and a master of music in church music degree from NOBTS. His specializations and skills include worship leadership, worship planning, choral and instrumental conducting, worship technology, and administration.
"I am excited about the opportunity to help shape future generations of worship pastors and ministers who are preparing to serve the local church," Jernigan said. “I want to do that in a way that helps students connect their head, heart, and hands in ministry and also fosters a lifelong commitment to loving and serving the local church.”
For the past 12 years, Jernigan has served as a local church worship pastor or worship leader. In addition to his current role at Northbrook, Jernigan served at Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, The Church at Canyon Creek in Austin, Texas, First Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, First Baptist Church in Gulfport, Mississippi, and other churches in Louisiana and Mississippi. During his time in Austin, Jernigan served on the pastoral leadership team that facilitated the merger of Austin Stone Church and The Church at Canyon Creek. Jernigan believes serving in different church sizes and settings has uniquely prepared him for his new role.
“I've served churches in many settings, large and small congregations, large cities, and small towns,” Jernigan said. “I think the sum of all those experiences will help me relate to and connect with many who are preparing to do the same.”
Jernigan and his wife Meagan are excited about returning to New Orleans. The couple married during their senior year at William Carey University, just before moving to NOBTS ten years ago. They have been praying with anticipation of how God might use them at Leavell College and in the city.
“Our prayer has been that God would give us a unique passion and love for the city of New Orleans, Jernigan said. “We see a great opportunity to come and make an impact in the city as well as the seminary.”
Meagan, who is nearing the completion of her Family Nurse Practitioner, Master of Science degree before the Jernigans move, intends to serve the city as a medical provider.
“Nate and his wife Meagan will be a perfect addition to our campus community and the ethos that is taking shape,” Dew said. “With him here, I think NOBTS is the ideal place for aspiring worship leaders to come for training. We can’t wait for Nate to get started with us.”
Jernigan will continue to serve Northbrook Baptist Church through July 24 before moving to New Orleans July 25.