Dr. Adrian Rogers-the recently retired pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church near Memphis, Tennessee and host of a national TV and radio ministry (Love Worth Finding)-had been hospitalized after complications in a battle against cancer.
AiG remembers Dr. Rogers not only as someone who had given his pulpit to AiG (in fact, one of our most popular messages was actually filmed in his church during a morning service in front of a huge audience), but as one of the key leaders (over many decades) in the US church in defending biblical inerrancy (especially in his denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention).
I experienced his strong belief in biblical authority firsthand. After I preached in his church a couple of years ago, Dr. Rogers took me out for lunch with his wife, Joyce, along with the associate pastor and his wife. After we ordered, Dr. Rogers asked me about the gap theory. I used a paper napkin to write down various thoughts, and using Scripture, I explained how the gap theory was in conflict with what the Bible clearly stated. Dr. Rogers then said something like this (quite emphatically) to everyone at the table: “That does it, then. The Bible makes it clear we can’t believe in the gap theory.”
The message I preached in Dr. Rogers’ church (the one that was turned into a popular DVD as mentioned above) was entitled: “Genesis, Key to Reclaiming America.” Multi-thousands of copies of this DVD have been distributed across America and around the world to help the church wake up to the foundational importance of the book of Genesis. I look on this video as one of the many legacies this man of God left to this world.
Because of his trust in the AiG ministry, not only did Dr. Rogers allow me to preach a sermon on biblical authority to his congregation, he also gave us permission to mass-produce the recorded message for worldwide distribution. It means so much to me that Dr. Rogers is seen on this video introducing me, thus personally endorsing the message I gave that day.
On another personal note, I must admit that I was somewhat in fear and trepidation of speaking in front of this well-known and respected Bible teacher of our day. But after I spoke, and as we talked over a meal, I found Dr. Rogers so easy to converse with. It was as if I was talking with someone I had known for years. What a dear man of God he was.
His funeral will be held at his church on Thursday evening. Dr. Rogers was 74.
He leaves his wife Joyce and children: Steve (and wife Cindi) Rogers, and their daughter; daughter Gayle (and husband Mike) Foster, and their sons; David (and wife Kelly) Rogers, and their sons; and Janice (and husband Bryan) Edmiston, and their children. Please pray for them.