Adrian Rogers: The Faithful Pastor and Leader Who Died of Cancer and Pneumonia



Adrian Rogers was a renowned pastor, author, and leader who served as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention three times and led the conservative resurgence in the denomination. He was also the founder of Love Worth Finding, a ministry that broadcasts his sermons and teachings to millions of people around the world. He died on November 15, 2005, at the age of 74, after a battle with cancer and pneumonia. He left behind a legacy of biblical preaching, godly living, and evangelical influence.

## A Life of Service and Excellence

Adrian Rogers was born on September 12, 1931, in West Palm Beach, Florida. He became a Christian at the age of 19 and felt called to the ministry. He graduated from Stetson University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1954 and from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Bachelor of Divinity in 1958. He was ordained by Northwood Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, where he served as an associate pastor. He later pastored several churches in Florida, including Fellsmere Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of Merritt Island.

In 1972, he became the senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, where he remained until his retirement in 2005. Under his leadership, the church grew from 9,000 to 29,000 members and moved to a new megachurch facility. He also led the church to start more than 400 missions and ministries, including a crisis pregnancy center, a Christian school, and a seminary extension. He was known for his expository preaching, his doctrinal fidelity, and his pastoral care.

Rogers was also a prominent figure in the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. He was elected as the president of the convention three times, in 1979, 1986, and 1987. He was instrumental in the conservative resurgence, a movement that affirmed the inerrancy and authority of the Bible and restored the theological orthodoxy of the denomination. He also supported the Cooperative Program, the missions and ministry funding system of the convention, and encouraged the churches to increase their giving and involvement.

Rogers was also the founder of Love Worth Finding, a ministry that began in 1987 as a radio program and expanded to television and the internet. The ministry broadcasts Rogers’ sermons and teachings to more than 150 countries and in 20 languages. The ministry also produces books, CDs, DVDs, and other resources that help people grow in their faith and knowledge of God. The ministry’s motto is “Bringing people to Christ, bringing Christ to people”.

## A Fight Against a Deadly Disease

Rogers was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2004, after undergoing a routine checkup. He underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and announced that he was cancer-free in 2005. However, he developed pneumonia in October 2005, and was hospitalized in Memphis. His condition worsened, and he was placed on a ventilator. He died on November 15, 2005, surrounded by his family and friends. He was 74 years old.

Rogers faced his illness with courage and peace, trusting in God’s sovereignty and grace. He told his congregation that he was ready to meet the Lord, and that he had no regrets or fears. He also asked them to pray for his wife, Joyce, and their four children, Steve, Gayle, David, and Janice, and their grandchildren. He also expressed his gratitude and love for his church and his ministry partners.

Rogers’ death was mourned by his family, his church, and the Southern Baptist Convention, as well as by many Christians and leaders around the world. He was praised for his faithful service, his biblical preaching, his godly character, and his evangelical influence. He was also honored with several awards and recognitions, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Religious Broadcasters, the Hall of Fame Award from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Liberty University.

## A Legacy of Hope and Impact

Rogers left behind a legacy of hope and impact, as well as a ministry that continues to spread his message and vision. His sermons and teachings are still broadcasted and distributed by Love Worth Finding, reaching millions of people with the gospel and the truth of God’s Word. His books and resources are still widely read and used by Christians and churches, helping them grow in their faith and discipleship. His example and influence are still inspiring and challenging pastors and leaders, motivating them to preach the Word, lead the church, and reach the world.

Rogers was a remarkable man, who lived his life and loved his family with passion and purpose. He preached the Word and led the church with faithfulness and excellence. He faced his death and met the Lord with courage and peace. He was a source of hope and impact for many people, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.