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FIRST-PERSON: Adrian Rogers: ‘true champion of the faith’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Our hearts grieve deeply over losing a true champion of the faith, yet we commemorate the completion of Adrian Roger’s remarkable journey and celebrate his home-going to be with the precious Lord he loved and served so faithfully.

In His grace, mercy, and wisdom, God chose to anoint and elevate Adrian Rogers at a critical juncture in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention. His tenacious yet humble commitment to the absolute authority and inerrancy of God’s Word stood in stark contrast to the ominous theological drift that threatened the Convention.

That commitment to God’s Word led to his election to three terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. When selected to take the helm of the SBC, he led us in making critical course corrections that helped return the Convention to its original course. Today, as a result, the mission boards, seminaries and entities of the SBC have all been returned to their historic theological foundations.

His unwavering confidence in God’s Word was clear to all who were blessed to sit under his eloquent and powerful exposition, but also to all who observed his commitment to live and minister according to its timeless and precious truths.

Adrian Rogers was a model preacher, pastor, evangelist, husband and father. He was an inspiration to untold millions, and the full impact of his life and ministry likely will not be comprehended or calculated this side of eternity.

On a personal note, Adrian Rogers was a pastor to my family. During her childhood, my wife, Jodi, was a member of Bellevue Baptist Church. When Jodi’s mother was terminally ill, Adrian ministered to her in many ways, including visits, phone calls and notes. When she died in 1990, Adrian conducted her funeral.

When I needed counsel, I often sought his advice. Not only was I blessed by listening to his powerful sermons, I looked at his life and saw no greed, no grudges, no jealousies and no egotism. However, I did see Jesus. Adrian was my mentor in the ministry and became for me a model of the Christian life — a model for whom I had enormous love and respect.

Yet, beyond all of the accolades that could be heaped upon Adrian Rogers, the pinnacle of his accomplishments and the richness of his legacy is that his life and ministry brought highest honor, praise and glory to the Lord he loved so deeply and served so admirably.

For all of these, we are truly grateful to God.

Now, we pray that Joyce and the family will sense the Lord’s warm embrace as they mourn. May His peace, the peace that passes all understanding, guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus in the days and weeks to come.
Morris H. Chapman is president and chief executive officer of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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  • Morris H. Chapman