I never saw Dr. Adrian Rogers when he didn’t greet me with a big bear-hug. When I first arrived in Memphis in 1997, Dr. Rogers was one of the first interviews that I wanted to get.
It wasn’t easy. After several requests were turned down I got word that Dr. Rogers would talk with me. I don’t remember the story but I remember sitting in his study, waiting on him to sit down and talk about whatever it was we were going to talk about.
He walked out and I stuck out my hand. He grabbed it and then me. Whether I ran into him at the airport or the Children’s Museum or his office, Dr. Rogers always acted like he was happy to see me.
When I started my ministry a little over a year ago, I called him for his advice. He responded by encouraging me to do what I felt God was calling me to do. Then he wrote a note about me that I could use on my website and marketing material.
The last time I visited him was about a year ago. He hadn’t been feeling well and when I asked him (after the hug) how he was doing, he started dancing around the office like Mike Tyson. With his fists clinched and punching the air he said “I feel like I could fight a grizzly bear. You want to go a few rounds?”
Then we sat down and talked about the sovereignty of God.
Dr. Rogers was one of the wisest men I’ve ever met. His sermons (I attended Bellevue briefly when we lived in Bartlett) were always uplifting, inspiring and thought provoking. The media will surely make a lot of his involvement in the conservative movement and the growth of Bellevue’s membership (from 9,000 to 29,000). I hope they also will mention how many people Dr. Rogers led to Christ.
Dr. James Dobson of “Focus on the Family” said of Dr. Rogers on his last day in Bellevue’s pulpit “There’s no one in this country I respect more than Adrian Rogers. You draw me closer to Christ. When I’m with you, I feel closer to the Lord.”