Sing Over Me tells the story of Dennis Jernigan, a famous Christian singer who left a life of homosexuality after years of confusion and struggle. In his own biography, Dennis recounts his story and the ways that God ultimately won the war for his soul.
Everything down to the editing on this film takes the audience on a roller coaster, from one high to the next low, and back up the hill again. It’s as if we are on the journey with Dennis, and it starts at a very young age. With the clear depiction of the battles being waged for and against him, we might as well be watching a war epic. Moments of victory and loss emerge from the sea of constant struggle. Things may not have looked so bad to the casual observer who saw a talented musician that was raised in a Christian home and attended a Baptist University. But underneath, Dennis wrestled unrelentingly with issues of identity, judgment, guilt, and self-loathing. Over the course of the film, we see him fight his temptation, fully give in to it, and experience absolutely no peace with either option. Then God heals. And, in the end, we see a panorama of a heart-broken young man whose life was fully redeemed and restored.
The film mingles Dennis’s personal testimony with concert footage, family interviews, visits to key locations and testimonies of people whose lives have changed dramatically as a result of his story. Director/Producer Jacob Kindberg left no stone unturned and no measure of God’s grace unexplored. He wove the events of Dennis’ life into the concert footage and solo performances, providing a glimpse of the struggle and passion that built each song. Though there were many tears, the film captured Dennis’s tender heart and his ability to feel deeply in a world where people tend to avoid emotion. Perhaps his ability to experience God’s love on such a deep level is what has drawn millions of listeners to his songs over the years.
My favorite footage in the entire film was of his family of nine children. Something struck a chord in me, watching that level of restoration. If you have ever been redeemed from an ugly past, an addiction, or a lifestyle of enslavement, you know that this kind of blessing is possible. It’s a good reminder of just how many amazing things God has done. If you are still struggling with issues like these, the film boldly proclaims that change is inevitable. God is a healer, a restorer, and he won’t quit until you have been fully set free. Sing Over Me inspires us to believe God and to continue walking with him through the darkest struggles until we see the light of transformation.
Talking Points with Kids:
Ages 12+ -- The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. What were some of the lies Dennis believed during the years he struggled so hard with his identity and temptation? How could those lies have destroyed him? Christ came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. In what ways did God give Dennis life? What role did Jesus’ death and resurrection have in the process of overcoming sin? How did God give him life more abundantly?