Patterson reflects on life and ministry of Adrian Rogers

FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) -- Adrian Rogers, pastor emeritus of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., and founder of a national radio ministry, died of complications from cancer and pneumonia Nov. 15. A three-time president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Rogers served as pastor to his Memphis church for 32 years. He also served as chairman of the committee that drafted the “Baptist Faith and Message 2000,” the confessional statement of the 16.2 million-member convention.

Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, said, "No more 'half-hallelujahs' for Adrian. He is at  home with Jesus with a full hallelujah.”

Patterson and Rogers worked closely together to move the SBC back to its biblical roots in the 1980s, giving rise to the conservative resurgence in the convention. Their effort culminated in the “Baptist Faith and Message 2000.”

Patterson said Rogers will be greatly missed. “While we rejoice for him, he leaves a vacancy in my heart more massive than the sweep of the Grand Canyon. So many contributed massively and heroically, but in my estimation Adrian was the one human, essential prophet returning the SBC to the faith of its fathers. Whether the discussion is compassion, mental alacrity, sense of humor, prowess in the pulpit, passion for Jesus and for lost sinners, or just faithful encouragement of the brethren, Adrian Rogers brought it all to Southern Baptists. If we Baptists had a Hall of Fame, Dr. Rogers would be enshrined tomorrow,” he said.

In the foreword to Joyce Rogers’ recently released book, “Love Worth Finding: The Life of Adrian Rogers,” Patterson wrote:

“Only a few times in any century does a man rise out of the ranks of the ordinary with a touch of God upon him in such a way as to change the course of human history. Further, for that man to be a man of impeccable moral standards, while possessing a pastor’s heart, remarkable alacrity, profound dedication to the work of the Savior, as well as matchless pulpit eloquence and brilliance is extraordinary. 

To say that this is exactly what God gave the world in Adrian Rogers is not an attempt to fell the oak of his humility, but only to recognize what most of us know is true in order to praise God for what he has done through him and to thank Adrian Rogers for allowing God to have the use of all his talents and abilities.”

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