One of the greatest preachers and Christian leaders of the 20th century, died November 15, 2005. Like Ezra, the great leader of ancient Israel, Dr. Rogers committed his life to one overarching purpose: the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” (Ezra 7:10).

Dr. Rogers succumbed to pneumonia after battling cancer that was diagnosed soon after his March 2005 retirement from 32 years as pastor of the Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis Tennessee. One of America’s largest churches, Bellevue has more than 29,000 members and a ministry that reaches around the world. The church grew and thrived under the dynamic preaching and loving pastoral care of Dr. Rogers. He was named Pastor Emeritus of the church at his retirement.

Dr. Rogers was preceded in death by his parents, Arden and Rose Rogers, and by an infant son, Phillip. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Joyce Louise Gentry of West Palm Beach, Florida; their four children: Stephen, Gayle, David, and Janice; nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild born November 14, 2005.

Date of Birth: September 12, 1931

Date of Passing: November 15, 2005

Laid to rest at: Memory Hill Gardens

Pastor’s Church: Bellevue Baptist Church

City: Memphis

State: Tennessee

Country: United States

Association: Southern Baptist


Adrian Pierce Rogers was born in West Palm Beach, Florida on September 12, 1931. It was there that he felt the call to the ministry and surrendered his life to the Lord as a high school football star.

Lying face down on the field one night with his face on the ground, young Adrian prayed, “Lord, I want you to use me.” When he felt that this was not humbling himself enough, he dug a hole in the dirt, put his nose in it, and prayed again, “Lord, I want you to use me!”

Adrian was subsequently ordained to the ministry by his church when he was a 19-year-old college student. God granted his prayer in a mighty way!

After serving several pastorates in his native Florida, Rogers came to be the Senior Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church of Memphis, Tennessee in 1972. He served in this ministry for 32 distinguished years, during which time Bellevue grew to become one of the nation’s largest churches, with more than 29,000 members. He was also elected three times as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the world’s largest Protestant denomination. He holds the distinction of being the only man to be elected three times to this office.

In 1987, Dr. Rogers extended his teaching ministry to an international audience when he founded Love Worth Finding Ministries—which has become one of the premier Christian broadcast ministries. From its debut with a one-hour television broadcast on 17 stations and a 30-minute radio broadcast on 19 radio stations, today Love Worth Finding can be heard weekly on a worldwide television network of over 14,000 outlets and daily broadcast of nearly 2,000 radio stations and translators.

The broadcasts can also be heard in more than 150 countries around the world, including the Spanish broadcast, El Amor Que Vale.

In 2001, Dr. Rogers celebrated 50 years in the ministry. He and Joyce, his wife of 54 years, have four children: Stephen, Gayle, David and Janice. Dr. and Mrs. Rogers also have nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Dr. Rogers has been active in national leadership and has personally consulted and prayed with five presidents of the United States. He has visited and had the privilege of sharing the platform with President George W. Bush in the White House on the National Day of Prayer for America.

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