Adrian Pierce Rogers (September 12, 1931 – November 15, 2005) served three terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention (1979–1980 and 1986–1988).
He was also a Southern Baptist pastor whose church services aired on television, and a conservative author.
Rogers was born in West Palm Beach, Florida. He entered Christian ministry at the age of nineteen. He graduated from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Rogers was ordained by Northwood Baptist Church (now known as The Village Baptist Church) in West Palm Beach. His first job as a senior pastor was at Fellsmere Baptist Church, a small congregation in Fellsmere, Florida. He performed his first baptism in the C-54 Canal near Fellsmere. He was senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Merritt Island, Florida from 1964 to 1972. In 1972, he became the senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, where he remained until March 2005. During this period, the church’s membership grew from 9,000 to 29,000, and the church moved into a new, megachurch facility. Rogers was named pastor emeritus after his retirement in March 2005.
Rogers was instrumental in the Southern Baptist denomination’s shift towards the right that began in the late 1970s, as he was elected president of the denomination during a theological controversy within the denomination known as the Southern Baptist Convention Conservative resurgence.
He published eighteen books and his works are featured on the internationally available radio and television program, Love Worth Finding, which is broadcast in English and Spanish. Rogers was also the founder of the Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute for ministers, which is currently headed by his widow, two sons, and a granddaughter.
In November 2005, Rogers contracted pneumonia of both lungs as a complication of colon cancer treatments, and died following a period of mechanical ventilation at the age of seventy-four.
“You Cannot Multiply Wealth By Dividing It.”
This quote appears frequently on the Internet and is often attributed to Dr. Rogers with an incorrect date of 1931. In fact, the quotation is part of a longer sermon by Dr. Rogers’ from 1984 in a larger series titled God’s Way to Health, Wealth and Wisdom (CDA107), but it also appears as a passage in Dr. Rogers’ 1996 work Ten Secrets for a Successful Family stating that “by and large our young people do not know either the importance or the value of honest labor”.
Rogers did not originate the quote at all. In fact, he did not claim to have originated it. Instead, he was citing almost verbatim a bit of anti-Soviet propaganda that had circulated in many magazines in the early 1960s. The quote appeared before that in the Congressional Record of 1958, where they were appended to the record by U.S. Representative Bruce Alger of Texas’ 5th congressional district, based about Dallas. Alger had taken the words from Gerald L. K. Smith, who had written them first in his magazine, The Cross and the Flag. Since the quote was attributed to Rogers in 2009, it has been regularly attributed to him; however, Rogers was essentially quoting Smith at the time.