Vern was born in Lincoln, Nebraska to Salvation Army officer parents. He served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam era from 1967-1969.
Vern earned a B.A. from East Carolina University and an M.A. in Biblical Literature from Asbury Theological Seminary. He has done post-graduate studies at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and has served in recent years as an adjunct faculty member at Trevecca Nazarene University.
Vern married Martha in 1975 and together they have three married children, daughters Anna and Sarah and son Booth. Each live with their spouses in Brooklyn, NY, Bonita Springs, FL and Nashville, TN respectively. The Jewetts have six grandchildren ranging from 1 to 10 years old.
As active officers Vern and Martha served in five corps appointments and at Territorial HQ in Atlanta. They served for nine years on the faculty of Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta with Vern serving six years as Principal. Next came six years as the divisional leaders in the North and South Carolina Division. Their final appointment was as the divisional leaders of the Florida Division from 2008-2014.
In retirement Vern served from 2014-2017 as the founding Director of the Southern Territory Social Justice Research Center, an initiative in partnership with Trevecca Nazarene University.
For twelve years Vern served as the speaker on the Salvation Army’s international radio programs “Heartbeat” and “Wonderful Words of Life.” Vern has traveled extensively to speak and teach around the world. In the past few years he has taught in the UK, Kenya, Tanzania, Eastern Europe, Sri Lanka, Argentina and the Caribbean as well as across the USA.
Vern and Martha moved to Port Charlotte in January 2018 where Vern enjoys tennis, golf, fishing and his library.