Thoughts of a Pastor-Historian

Adrian Rogers (1931-2005)

One of the greatest pastors and preachers of the twentieth century went home to be with his Lord this morning. Dr. Adrian Rogers died today after battling cancer and double pneumonia caused by blood clots in his lungs. His death at a Memphis hospital occurred in the same city where he had served as the pastor of historic Bellevue Baptist Church for over 32 years.

Known worldwide for his faithful proclamation of the gospel on both the television and radio (through his Love Worth Finding ministry), Dr. Rogers was a man of God who stood for the truth in days of increasing relativism. His faithful pulpit ministry has inspired many, including me. Adrian Rogers’ soul is now with his Lord. His body awaits the resurrection to a new glorified body. For those who heard Adrian Rogers preach, can you imagine what his voice will sound like with glorified vocal chords?!?! That booming voice which was silenced briefly over the weekend (because of the respirator tube) will once again reverberate in praise to his Creator, Savior and Lord!!!

On a personal note, Dr. Rogers ministry was intertwined with my life in a way that he never knew. My and my wife’s first official date was to go hear him preach in a revival service at Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN eleven years ago. Over the next couple years, as a dating and just married couple, we had the privilege of hearing Dr. Rogers preach several times in meetings in the Knoxville area. In addition, over the years I had the privilege of hearing him in person at several Pastor’s Conferences. I saw and heard him in person for the last time earlier this year in June at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastors Conference. The picture above shows Dr. Rogers preaching that night. He had already been diagnosed with cancer and was receiving chemotherapy treatments, but his voice was strong and the message was clear (that message is viewable online by clicking here).

Dr. Rogers courage and leadership shaped a denomination. His ministry impacted millions. I am thankful for the privilege of having lived to hear one of America’s greatest preachers. The preacher is now in the presence of his Lord and it is ultimately to the Lord that we must express our gratitude today. For Adrian Pierce Rogers was one of God’s special gifts to His church!

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