Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dr. Adrian Rogers -- Your Memories

Anything not strictly "on topic" and of a positive nature in this thread will be deleted. "Bellevue friend" suggested this topic as a tribute to Dr. Rogers, and that's all it's for. Think about the online guestbook for Dr. Rogers' family which has grown to over 140 pages, and don't write anything here you wouldn't write there!


Since today is the one year anniversary of Dr. Rogers' homegoing I am wondering what is your most treasured memory of him?

For me, it was meeting him on four different occasions. He was the kindest of men! He always made you feel like you were the most important person in the world!

My most vivid memory was hearing him preach at Midwestern Seminary in Kansas City when they were installing their new president and had set up an outdoor tent that must have seated 1000 people or better.

At the beginning of his sermon, a terrble thunderstorm hit... they lost most of the power including his microphone. Undaunted, he left the platform and began walking back and forth down the aisle preaching like a modern day Billy Sunday!

I am so glad I had my whole family there... my wife and our three sons heard the "Greatest Preacher" of his generation... stand and deliver!

Write your most vivid memory in his honor!

bellevue friend

Thank you for the idea for this thread, "bellevue friend"!

Need I say that anything not strictly "on topic" and of a positive nature in this thread will be deleted?



allofgrace said...

allofgrace said...

I've only been a member for four years...though I've heard Dr. Rogers on the radio for years. I've always respected him as a man of God who wasn't afraid of sticking to his guns. I love the way he used analogy and a sanctified humor in his messages to make his points. His love for the membership was always was his love of Christ, his wife and children, and grandchildren. His marriage with Mrs. Rogers was in itself a wonderful testimony which has had an impact on my teenage daughter..for which I am grateful..I was sometimes in disagreement with him on certain theological points, but my respect for him and thankfulness for his ministry has never diminished...he was and will remain a mighty man of God. May he continually bask in the glory of the Lord whom he faithfully loved and served.

11:25 PM, November 15, 2006

Anonymous said...

Thank you for allowing personal rememberances of Dr. Rogers. My family and I have been around a long time at BBC...all the way back to Dr. Lee. My first rememberance of BBC was in the nursery 48 years ago. Dr. Pollard was my childhood pastor and Dr. Rogers my teen years through adulthood. I was saved under Dr. Rogers and he personally baptized me and my husband. He was present at my wedding and performed the funeral services of my grandparents. I no longer live in the Mphs area, but continue to call BBC my "home church". I traveled back to BBC for his funeral (wouldn't have been anywhere else). What a wonderful homegoing it was!

Adrian Rogers was a truly gifted and anointed man of God, pastor and teacher. His ability to always remember a person and to speak to that person on a very personal level showed his true love and concern as a shephard of the flock. His ability to teach scripture was unsurpassed (except for Jesus). The example that he set before us as a husband, father and grandfather is precisely the example that Jesus intended. No, he was not perfect, but he was a man of integrity, conviction and compassion.

I have 4 Christian "mentors" in my life they are as follows...Tommy Lane, Jim Whitmire, Carolyn Higginbothem and Adrian Rogers. Each taught me what it means to be a Christian, how to have a servants heart, how to praise and worship God (NOT how to worship praise and worship!), how to be a Christian wife and mother and be an effective Sunday School Teacher.

I thank my Heavenly Father that He allowed me to be a part of such a wonderful church as BBC, to sit under the preaching of Adrian Rogers and to enjoy multiple opportunities and blessings there.

It's been one year since his passing and I am still grieving, as I know may others are. But I am also rejoicing, knowing that Dr. Rogers is at home with The Savior that he was faithful to and loved so much.

Joyce and family, if you happen to read this, please know how much you are loved and prayed for.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Rogers was without one doubt the greatest preachers of our time. I was saved 18 years ago and I listened to him faithfully on the radio and we became members of Bellevue from 1994-1997.

It is hard to find the words to describe our love for him as a fellow Christian although we were not personal friends of his. He seemed to be so humble and grateful to God for everything. He had that anointing of God that so few preachers have and he relished being in God's presence.

I thank God for the privilege of sitting under his leadership and growing as a Christian because of his love for Christ and the bride.

His love for Joyce should speak volumes to us all, especially pastors. She was the light of his life second only to our Savior.

I wish I could have seen his entrance into glory!

Dot said...

Dr. Rogers was an incredible man of God. I remember when his heart was broken over a family crisis. You heard it in his voice and felt it in his demener, but yet he continued to challenge us, and himself a bit I think, to have faith in a Great God. He truly walked his talk and was a man of the highest integrity. During productions he would always make a point to come backstage at some point to encourage the crew that most people never really thought about.
At one point, we were told that my spouse most likely had cancer. Before the test results were known, our son had to leave for college. He hated to leave without knowing. He was struggling with some spiritual issues and had asked to meet with Dr. Rogers. But his schedule was full. The day before he left for VA to school, Dr Rogers sect. called and said Dr. Rogers wanted to meet him. During the meeting Dr. Rogers refrained from giving our son the answers but rather lead him to scripture and told him to read and pray for God's answers. Then, he asked about my spouse. Our son said "You know about the tests?" Dr Rogers said " Yes, and I have already prayed about that." But he then asked our son "Tell me this, if this turns out to be the worst, will your family be okay financially?" Our son explained that we had had rough times in that area. Dr. Rogers replied "I want you to go to school and know that your family will be taken care of - I will see to it."
The test were negative and all was well but what a lasting impression that made on our entire family.
Any parent appreciates and loves others that have a positive influence on our children. I will close by saying that while on the way to Dr Rogers viewing our youngest son was asked by his 7y/o son where they were going. My son's reply was "We are going to pay respect to a great man who showed daddy how to love Jesus" Now that is a legacy!

David Brown said...

This is from David B.

I have many but one was back at the old church in the early 80's. It was during the Singing Christmas Tree. We were sitting the balcony behind John Bramblett. If you don't know John, he is a former NFL football with a very colorful past but is huge warrior for the Lord. Anyway as Pastor as on the platform giving an invitation, John would say "Amen, tell it brother." John said it serveral times as well as other words of encouragement.

Well I had my 3 year old son, Kris, on my lap and other son, Kevin, beside us. As Dr. Rogers was giving an invitation and is was at the quietest time, my son yells out Amen Paster tell it brother. The church exploded in laughter as I quickly tried to scramble out of my seat.

We were standing on the stair well when Dr. Rogers came back to his seat. He took my son from my arms and told him he was right and to never stop telling people about Jesus. Wow, my son still remembers what happened even today. Here was child that definitely interupted the service but Pastor only had love for him. Pastor just had that gift.

Dr. Rogers is only gone in body, certainly not in spirit. I was blessed in those early days to have gotten to know Pastor personally, primairly thru the singles department and my work with Ken Whitten.

Thanks for this thread. Finally one with some positive stories.

In HIS Service;

David B. not Pastor David

Unknown said...

I love this thread, thank you! I still get a catch in my throat if I'm channel surfing and happed upon an LWF broadcast. I just miss him so much.

My favorite memories of the pastor:

We used to go to El Chico's at Poplar and Highland after church (this was at old Bellevue). Dr. and Mrs. Rogers, Bob and Buena Sorrell and occasionally some others would come in and come over and talk to our table. I'm in jr. or sr. high school at this time and I always thought it was cool that this MAN loved the young people like me.

I also remember him getting up into the Singing Christmas Tree or Living Pictures/Passion Play during the last performance.

I think the biggest impression he's had on me is that he had Bellevue start the Care Groups. I've had my issues in the past and it was such a joy to come back to Bellevue (I went to D. Jeremiah's church when I lived in CA for years) and see what changes had been made to help the hurting Christian.

Thanks for letting me share,


Ed T. said...

I was in that "gang" with Karen back in those days of Sunday night dinner at El Chicos after church. Like Karen stated, as a high school/college kid in those days, it was always cool to have 'The Pastor' stop by our table and chat for a bit. He probably didn't know most of our names, but you had no doubt that the man loved each and every one of his flock.

Ed T.

P.S. Karen, what are you doing? Trying to make me cry?

Anonymous said...

My favorite memory happened several years ago. I was walking in the back hallway between the choir room and the fellowship hall after the 11am service one day with my 4 year old niece. Dr. Rogers came towards me with 3 distinguished men and they were very deep in conversation so we only greeted with our eyes and a nod. My niece was awestruck as she looked up at Dr. Rogers and heard his booming voice. When Dr. Rogers got a few paces past us, he turned around and called to me and knelt down and motioned for my niece to come to him. He wrapped his arms around her and told her how precious she was. She was not really sure who he was. Tears come to my eyes when I think about the big hug because I want that hug to transfer to her all the things Dr. Rogers did in my life. I pray that she will have people that influence her for Jesus

Unknown said...

Sorry, Ed. I miss the cheese dip! Feel better?? :)

Anonymous said...


Your opinion is irrelevant to this thread. This is a tribute to Dr. Rogers not a debate of who was the greatest preacher of his generation. In fact, I will have words with anyone that ever questions Dr. Rogers wisdom when it came to scripture. But I will not do it here. To many of us at Bellevue, he is the greatest of his generation and even our generation. You are talking about some ones father that went to heaven a year ago. I ask you to let his children have at least some peace during this time. Also, let the ones that come to this thread, have some peace of telling their memories of Dr. Rogers.

Thank You,

Joshua David Whitmire

Amy said...

I will not debate whether Dr. Rogers was the best preacher ever. I seem to recall him saying on several occasions that he was not. He never wanted us to focus on the messenger, only the message. I personally am very thankful for all of those handy alliterations. For me, they were very helpful... a great way to remember the message. I can't recall any of the sermons that I felt he twisted any text to fit his point but he was human so I certainly won't say it never happened. I definitely would not refer to him as a "good" preacher. He was an exceptional pastor. And yes, he did prefer to be called Pastor-- it is an honor to say that he was my Pastor.

PS- It really baffles me why anyone would come on here and tell the things they didn't like about him. ie-Personally, I disagree with the original post. I do not think Adrian was the greatest preacher of his generation. I have encountered much better preachers. Adrian had a tendency to care more about alliteration in his points than accurately representing the text. There were several times that I heard him twist a point in the text to "make it fit."

CRRV-seriously, did you think before you posted this? Sure, you are entitled to your opinion, but was this really the time or place? This is obviously a negative opinion- to say that he cared more about the alliteration than accuracy of his presentation of scripture--give me a break!

Amy said...

padroc said...
Remember, No one ever preached a better Gospel. Nor can anyone today or tomorrow.

Thank you Jesus!

Yep, that is what I was referring to. Dr. Rogers said many times that he was not the best preacher, but no one could preach a better gospel.


Amy said...

I do too.

David Brown said...

This is David B not Pastor David

I could not more strongly disagree with you as to your latest statement.

"And to make my point - whenever any preacher does what we have just described, they do as a matter of fact, "care more about alliteration than accuracy of his presentation of Scripture."

Dr. Rogers was very concerned about the accuracy of his presentation of Scripture. I have sat at this man's feet for over 26 years and never once did he "twist" the Scripture. I am astonished someone would come on this board and demean this man. But then after reading some of the stuff that is being posted on the next tread I am surprised.

And I have heard Dr. Rogers say so many times he was not the greatest preacher but no one ever preached a better Gospel.

Now I wish we would consider using this week every year in honor of Dr. Rogers. Yesterday was the 1st anniversay of his passing to be with his Beloved Saviour. If Elvis can have two weeks a year, surely we can one to remember our Pastor. Not to worship him but thank him for all he meant to us. Think about how Joyce would feel and the rest of her family. Maybe we could use that to start a scholarship fund for student wanting to go into the seminary. Just a thought from someone that misses his Pastor.

David B not Pastor David

Unknown said...

I thought some might be interested in the lyrics to the song that played during the video presentation on Sunday:

Chris Rice - Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus)
From the album Run The Earth ... Watch the Sky

Weak and wounded sinner,
Lost and left to die,
O, raise your head for Love is passing by

Come to Jesus,
Come to Jesus,
Come to Jesus and live

Now your burden's lifted,
And carried far away,
And precious blood has washed away the stain... so

Sing to Jesus,
Sing to Jesus,
Sing to Jesus and live

And like a newborn baby,
Don't be afraid to crawl,
And remember when you walk sometimes we fall... so

Fall on Jesus,
Fall on Jesus,
Fall on Jesus and live

Sometimes the way is lonely,
And steep and filled with pain,
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain... then

Cry to Jesus,
Cry to Jesus,
Cry to Jesus and live

O, and when the love splills over,
And music fills the night,
And when you can't contain you joy inside... then

Dance for Jesus,
Dance for Jesus,
Dance for Jesus and live

And with your final heartbeat,
Kiss the world goodbye,
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side... and

Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus and live

Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus and live

Anonymous said...

I have much to remember from the 14 years I spent absorbing under Dr. Roger’s ministry:

The frequent flipping sound heard in the sanctuary as the congregation kept up with his Bible references in his preaching. He taught me to always carry my sword!

Dr. Rogers inviting the children to come sit with him while he told the Christmas story.

In 2003, Dr. Rogers dedicated our second baby on the platform in the sanctuary, and the video is priceless to me ~ Hearing him speak her name - those promises he asked the parents to make - the challenge to the congregation to help us keep them.

His daughter, Janice, telling how she used to type his sermons for him. Sometimes, for the fun of it, she would sit in the balcony and say his next line right before he did. I can just imagine the looks she got from people who did not know her! LOL!

Stories Maxie Dunnam has told about living next door to the Rogers family for years. Mrs. Rogers took the trashcan to the street, because she didn't want Adrian to have to deal with the trash. (Makes me wonder how she is doing today? Don't forget to pray for their family!)

Dr. Rogers' comments about getting ready to move from Central Ave. to Lakeland. He talked about being shocked by the STUFF underneath and behind the clothes dryer. He cautioned us to not let stuff pile up, hidden, in our lives. We needed to stay clean before the Lord.

He introduced me to Bob Sorrell when my DD and I took a box of home-made oatmeal cookies to his office. He graciously opened it up and took a big bite of one. Then he admitted that his wife would not want him to keep and eat the whole box. After my DD assured him it would be ok if he shared, he called Bob in. Bob took the box with a grin, said that he sure did appreciate Joyce, and asked hopefully if they had raisins. Next time we made cookies, my DD made sure that Bob Sorrell's box had raisins, and Dr. Rogers ONE cookie did not.

The way he and Jim Whitmire worked together so beautifully. There was a harmony to their relationship. Mr. Whitmire was truly a worship leader.

My 11yo just told me that by the time she turned 8 she liked listening to Dr. Roger’s sermons because he always seemed to be speaking to her.

She also learned to take excellent notes listening to his sermons. CRRV may not appreciate alliteration but Dr. Rogers spoke with power, shared with passion and shepherded his people. :o) His preaching style is one that seminarians try to model, because it works subtly, waylays sinners and welds saints.

Merriam-Webster defines weld as - to unite or reunite closely or intimately. I miss the intimacy that BBC shared under Dr. Rogers.

Thank you, Joyce, for sharing your dear husband with so many hurting souls. His work is not yet done.

Custos said...

You know, I was thinking about this earlier today. Years at Bellevue, so many memories. That man and my father were my two heroes. It may be impossible to pick one memory, but I would throw this out there as a "best of" memory:

On those beautiful Bellevue Sunday nights after the invitation, the lights would dim, the choir's voices would rise, the Man of God would close the Word of God in the House of God, and bid us peace, reminding us that the God who watches over Israel never sleeps nor slumbers, and it is He who watches over us. And we would return to our homes filled.

Glory days. Oh how the Father blessed us with and through that precious man.

This is now just self-indulgent, but I suppose catharsis is a little bit of what this thread's about. There's a non-Dr Rogers quote that so reminds me of his dedication to Jesus. It's taken from CS Lewis' Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when Reepicheep is telling of his intentions to find what Aslan (Christ/God) has for him:

"My own plans are made. While I can, I sail East [toward Aslan's country] in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle East in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim East with my four paws. , And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the Sunrise ,."

Reminds me of Dr Rogers' own "I love the Lord Jesus. I want to love Him better in the days to come. The burning ambition of my heart is to finish well."

allofgrace said...

Though I wasn't around him enough to hear a lot of his quotes...this is the one that stood out to me...and has stuck with me since.."The things of God are shallow enough for a child to wade in, and deep enough to drown a theologian."....more apt words were never spoken to describe this truth.

Finance Guy said...

"Be still and know that I am God". That's one of the things I miss the most about the change in worship philosophy, not just at BBC, but apparently the entire SBC. I miss the reverent formality and reverence that Dr Rogers brought to worship. The Lord's Supper time on Sunday nights illustrated this. The choir sang "Now the Day is O'er", and the spotlight would come on the pulpit, and the Man of God would read from the Word of God and talk about how it had been a good day at Bellevue. "We had laughed together, cried together, sung together, worshiped together. It has been a good day, because we had spent it in the House of the Lord". He always ended it by reminding us how we should go home and sleep well, because "He that watcheth Israel will neither slumber nor sleep."
Thanks for reminding us of that Worshipful time.

Becky said...

Thank you Josh, for the remembrance of our Sunday night service. ...Oh my.

One of my favorite memories of Dr. Rogers was his send-off for a senior high choir tour. We parents were standing around waiting for the buses to pull away. As was his custom, Dr. Rogers came out to tell the youth goodby. He read to them from Ecclesiastes 10:1 "Dead flies cause the ointment of the perfumer to send forth an evil odor; so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor." He pointed out that the scripture did not say dead elephants, it said dead flies.

What a blessing this man was to me and my family. I am so grateful to have been a part of Bellevue's 'Glory Days".

Custos said...

No no, thank you guys--Mikebrattonisciaphas, you remembered the text so much better than I.

Also, I should clarify: I didn't mean to say Dr Rogers and my dad "were" my heroes. My dad is still very much here, and they both remain my heroes!

Tim said...

I would like to relate not my memory, but perhaps the most prized story that I have ever heard told of this fine upstanding Christian Man. A dear friend of mine related this story to me several days after his going home. This happened so long ago that the detail may not be 100%, but it is to the best of my knowledge.

Perhaps some of you will remember that years ago there was a controversey among Southern Baptist Churches over a Memphis area church that had appointed a woman as their pastor. This created quite a stir in this area and among the churches of the area.

An emergency meeting of the Shelby Baptist Association was called with a meeting scheduled at the offending church. The purpose of the meeting was to determine whether this church would be allowed to remain within the Shebly Baptist Association.

Many pastors took the podium and voiced their opinion of the offense that had occured and the penalties that must be imposed because of it. After these pastors had finished, the lady that had been appointed pastor of this church stood to take the podium and state their defense. The outcry was overwhelming from the pastors and those that had been nominated by their churches to attend and vote. The lady could not speak for the commotion.

Our Dear Pastor Rogers, rose from his seat and in his booming voice said, "Gentleman, Gentleman, Gentleman...We may not agree with all that this lady has to say, however, she deserves our respect and the right to speak." The crowd was silenced by his words of wisdom. The lady spoke her peace and the vote was cast. Indeed, many did not agree with all that she had to say for the church was voted out of the Shelby Baptist Association.

Can you define a finer man, than the man who stands to support the speach of those with which he does not agree.

Thank you Pastor Rogers, you could preach an entire sermon in a single sentence. God Bless the family of this dear man. We all share in your loss and thank you so much for allowing us to share in his life.

Finance Guy said...

Remember the song Scott Sturnavant wrote "In Rememberance of me" that was so often played while the sacrements were passed out? That song seems to have left Bellevue along with Dr. J. (Whitmire that is)

Custos said...

Oh, that evokes some wonderful memories of MPPs gone by!

Dot said...

Reading through this thread has been a true blessing to me. Dr. Rogers left an astounding legacy that is ours to pass on. Pray that we would be up for the task.

Ed T. said...

I, too, will miss those Sunday nights of the Lord's Supper and to hear the Man of God read from the Word of God. If you want, I believe you can find 'Now the Day is Over' in some hymnals.

But a couple of other things I will never forget:
1) the washing of feet when Dr. Rogers passed the mantle of leadership to Dr. Gaines - you could heard the gasps as this caught people off-guard, and yet, it shouldn't have.

2) the memorial service at Bellevue that became a worship service; there was sadness, but who was blessed and rejoicing at this man's life when they left?

Finance Guy said...

Someone on another tread talked about Bellevue being a lighthouse, and it reminded me of the time there was a "Lighthouse" Ministy emphasis, where we were supposed to have "lighthouses" in neighborhoods across the city. Dr. Rogers had a giant lighthouse constructed on the stage. He got up at the start of the service, and said to anyone who happened to be visiting that day, that we were not a cult that worshiped lighthouses. Got a good laugh from the assembled.

Another time, I recall during the invitation, he had walked down from the stage as was his custom, it was a quiet and reverent moment, but he made the following statement. "What if Jesus were to walk in through the door in the back? Would you run up to him and ask him to sign your Bible?" It was a serious moment, but there was a little tittering that rose up from the congregation as we all pictured that in our minds. He paused, like he didn't realise what he'd just said and didn't know why the congo was amused, and then went on with the invitation. That's one invitation that sticks in my mind.

Anonymous said...

I met Dr. Rogers a couple of weeks before his retirement. My husband and I were heading to our Bible Fellowship Class at 8:00 am and met Dr. Rogers in the hallway alone - it was just the three of us. He asked us how we were doing (like he'd known us forever) and we explained that we were burdened for our son who was in the midst of divorce. He asked if he could pray for us, then held our hands and prayed for our family. Dr. Rogers didn't know us personally, but it didn't stop him from treating us with genuine compassion and love. I will always cherish this wonderful memory of him. I thank the Lord for sending his servant, Adrian Rogers, to Memphis so many years ago that I could know and experience a true shepherd's love for his flock. We still miss him greatly and may God continue to bless Mrs. Rogers and her family by knowing how much he meant to all of us.