BRENTWOOD, TN (BP) – Just looking at Ternae "T.J." Jordan Jr., one would never suspect he once was in a hospital with a bullet in his head, fighting for his life. Jordan still has the bullet in his head more than 23 years later but has no visible scars at its entry point. He now serves as assistant pastor at Mount Canaan Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., where his father, Ternae Jordan Sr., is pastor.
T.J., then 15, was hit by a stray bullet fired during a fight outside a local YMCA in Indiana, where his father was a pastor at the time, as he and his sister Dejuan were waiting to be picked up by their mother after piano lessons. Jordan was in the hospital for about three weeks. The early prognosis was that he would be blind or have brain damage. Because the bullet was lodged between his brain and skull, doctors decided it was best not to remove it. Yet, today Jordan has fully recovered. He still goes in for CAT scans to make sure the bullet has not moved and has been told several times the CAT scans reveal he should not have motor skills.
"God says otherwise," Jordan said. "This shows there is a supernatural God." Jordan was interviewed by the Baptist and Reflector when he and his dad and brother Jamichael attended a meeting for African-American pastors at the Tennessee Baptist Convention's rented offices in Brentwood in early August. "God has been so good to me that I sometimes forget that it even happened," Jordan said of the shooting. Though he doesn't have pain from the bullet still lodged in his head, he said his head will throb occasionally.
"It's as if that is God's way of telling me, 'I saved you for a reason and you need to let the world know,'" he said. And, Jordan does just that whenever an opportunity presents itself. He has written a book titled "Is It Just My Imagination?: Utilizing Your God-Given Imagination." Jordan preaches for his dad at Mount Canaan and at youth evangelism rallies. "I can apply my testimony to everything I preach or teach about," he said. And, sometimes, "my testimony is the sermon," Jordan added.
He is convinced that being shot at age 15 has helped him become a better minister because he can relate to people who are hurting. "They may not have been wounded by a bullet but they have been wounded by life. I can relate," Jordan said. He also is living proof to people that God "still works miracles. God is able to use my life and my story to show that He is real," Jordan said.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lonnie Wilkey is editor of the Baptist and Reflector (www.baptistandreflector.org), newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.