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Adrian Rogers ‘buoyed up by prayer’ as chemo begins

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (BP)–“I am doing well,” Adrian Rogers said June 16, for someone “in my category” of battling cancer.

“I am optimistic about full remission,” the former Southern Baptist Convention president said after spending three days at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and returning June 16 to his Memphis-area home.

Speaking in a clear, conversational voice that sounded pulpit-ready, Rogers told Baptist Press he is grateful for the prayers of Southern Baptists for his recovery from colon cancer that has metastasized onto his liver.

Cancerous polyps were found in a routine colonoscopy that prompted surgery to remove part of his colon May 16.

Rogers, who retired earlier this year after 32 years as pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., said he and the doctors at M.D. Anderson “have made plans for a treatment to attack this malignancy and I expect to continue to do my full work and continue with the [Love Worth Finding] radio-television ministry and the pastor training ministry and teaching at Mid-America Seminary [in Memphis].

“I’m grateful for prayers,” Rogers continued, “and I am in good spirits and confident in God’s grace and power. In a way, it’s hard to quantify what prayer means, but you can feel in a very strange way being buoyed up by prayer.”

Rogers said he and his wife, Joyce, “have had no morose or down attitude but a sense of joy and peace and expectancy through all of this. And I attribute that not to mere positive thinking but to this enormous amount of prayer that has gone to heaven on our behalf. And we also expect God, in answer to prayer, to heal.”

Rogers said he will undergo two chemotherapy treatments per month “for the foreseeable future.”

“This is not industrial strength chemo,” he said, “but it all has a way of making you nauseous for a couple of days after you take it.”

Rogers, who was elected SBC president in 1979, 1986 and 1987, reaffirmed he will speak at the SBC Pastors’ Conference on June 20.

“I’ll be preaching Monday night,” he told Baptist Press, “and I want to hear you shouting.”

Rogers’ latest book, “What Every Christian Ought to Know: Essential Truths for Growing Your Faith,” was published this spring by Broadman & Holman, the trade books division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.