RIDGECREST – The life and legacy of Southern Baptists’ “Prince
of Preachers” was honored by trustees of LifeWay Christian Resources on the
first night of their semiannual meeting, Sept. 12-13 at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference
Center in North Carolina.
On what would have been Adrian Rogers’ 80th birthday, Sept. 12, trustees
presented a resolution to his widow Joyce Rogers and her son Steve, who serves
as president of the Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute.
Michael Deahl, vice chairman of LifeWay’s trustees and chairman of the trustee
executive committee, introduced the resolution in personal perspective:
“I moved to Dallas in 1980 as a very immature Christian,” said Deahl, an
attorney at Powell, Coleman & Arnold, LLP, in Dallas. “Dr. Rogers came and
preached a revival at my church and it was a time which became very
instrumental in my journey of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay, told trustees that adopting a
resolution of appreciation recognizing the life and continuing ministry impact
of Adrian Rogers – “one of the giants of Southern Baptist life – will be one of
the highlights of your service as trustees.”
Rainer said the void left by Rogers’ “home-going” is still large.
“Today, on what would be Adrian Rogers’ 80th birthday, we acknowledge the
enormous contribution to Southern Baptist life and the evangelical world,”
The resolution presented by Rainer highlights Rogers’ contribution to the
Southern Baptist Convention as one of the leading voices for returning the
convention to solid theological conservatism and for his renown as one of the
“I am overwhelmed with your reception and generosity,” said Joyce Rogers,
adding that it was at Ridgecrest where Adrian Rogers surrendered to the
“Adrian was 16, I was 15,” she recounted. “I still remember standing by his
side when he stepped out to make it public that God was calling him to preach
the gospel. I knew then that one day I would be Mrs. Adrian Rogers, pastor’s
She told trustees that she felt dismay during the early days of the
Conservative Resurgence when her husband, whom she called “Mr. Conviction,
Courage and Compassion,” often stood alone to issue a call to biblical
“I remember those days; the battle for the Bible,” she said. “I thought at one
convention: ‘Why won’t anyone stand with Adrian?’ Now there’s an army of men
and women standing for the Bible.”
Steve Rogers described his father’s desire to train and strengthen the next
generation of ministers.
“He called it being in the transfer zone – where relay runners pass the baton,”
Steve Rogers said. “It’s what he wanted to do in his latter years. Our idea was
to take 50 men at a time – it wasn’t a large global vision – calling it ‘Three
days up close and personal with Adrian Rogers.’”
Much of the initiative for the training was rooted in conversations with
LifeWay and B&H Publishing Group, Steve said, noting the B&H
publication “What Every Christian Ought to Know” is Adrian Rogers’ bestselling
In 2005, Steve said his father indicated a desire to record his training. “We
videotaped it in April 2005, the next month he received the cancer report and
six months after that God called him home,” Steve said.
The resulting set of tapes, edited into pastor’s training material, became the
impetus for the Adrian Rogers Pastors Training Institute which “since 2007 has
seen more than 20,000 pastors on five continents go through the training,”
“I have wondered many times why Dad is in heaven and my brother (David Rogers
serves as an International Mission Board missionary in Spain) and I are doing
what we’re doing,” he said. “I asked God to help me do what is able to be done
in my generation much like Dad did in his generation.
“Repurposing the timeless truth for today’s audience,” including for believers
in countries closed to open gospel proclamation, “God has truly moved the
ministry to the next generation,” Steve Rogers said.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Russ Rankin is manager of editorial services for LifeWay
Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.)