By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
BRENTWOOD — Just looking at Ternae “T.J.” Jordan Jr., one would never suspect that that he once lay in a hospital bed with a bullet in his head, fighting for his life.
More than 23 years later, Jordan still has that bullet in his head but he has no visible scars at the bullet’s entry point.
He now serves as assistant pastor at Mount Canaan Baptist Church, Chattanooga, where his father (Ternae Jordan Sr.) is serving as pastor.
T.J. Jordan, then 15, and his sister, Dejuan, were sitting in a local YMCA (in Indiana where his father was serving as pastor at the time) after taking piano lessons, waiting to be picked up by their mother, when he was hit by a stray bullet fired during a fight outside the facility.
Jordan was in the hospital for about three weeks. The early prognosis was not good — 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 he has fully recovered. Jordan still goes in for CAT scans to make sure the bullet has not moved. He has been told several times that the CAT scans reveal that he should not have motor skills. “God says otherwise,” Jordan said. “This shows there is a supernatural God.”
Jordan, along with his dad and brother, were in Brentwood recently for a meeting for African-American pastors in the Tennessee Baptist Convention. In an interview with the Baptist and Reflector he shared how God still uses that experience in his life.
“God has been so good to me that I sometimes forget that it even happened,” he said of the shooting. Though he doesn’t have pain from the bullet still lodged in his head, he said that occasionally his head will throb. “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 entitled Is It Just My Imagination?: Utilizing Your God-Given Imagination. Jordan also 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 affirmed.