Baptist Press Archive

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

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  • Adrian Rogers, 'rising star of Memphis,' elected 35 years ago

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 (4 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Thousands of messengers had arrived in Houston to vote for Adrian Rogers in the presidential election at the 1979 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting. Some with limited resources had traveled hundreds of miles and were sleeping in tents in hopes of restoring their denomination to theological orthodoxy.

    SBHLA photo
    There was just one problem: It was the night before the election and Rogers wasn't sure that God wanted him to be nominated. When he encountered fellow conservative leaders Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines in a hotel lobby, the three of them, along with Rogers' wife Joyce, went to pray about the matter in Rogers' room.

    After hours of seeking God's will, Joyce Rogers, feeling God's leading, signaled to her husband, and he said, "I will do it."

    The following afternoon, Rogers, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., was elected over five other candidates on the first ballot with 51 percent of the vote. The Conservative Resurgence had begun.

    Thirty-five years later, observers say Rogers, who died in 2005, was the pivotal leader in the SBC's struggle to make belief in the Bible's inerrancy a bedrock commitment of all convention entities -- a commitment that undergirds Southern Baptists' evangelistic outreach at home and abroad.

    Inerrancy is the doctrine that the Bible is completely free from error regarding theology, history, science and every other matter to which it speaks. The group who advocated inerrancy and elected Rogers labeled themselves "conservatives," a reference to theology more than political ideology. Opponents of the conservatives -- many of whom held orthodox beliefs but thought theological diversity should be tolerated in the SBC -- were called "moderates."

    Frank S. Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, said he is excited to see a young generation of pastors who believe the Word of God and hold to a high degree of understanding of its authenticity. "I believe that this new reality is directly attributable to great men who stood strong for the Gospel and especially Dr. Adrian Rogers," he said. "His election 35 years ago signaled a grassroots movement that has changed our entire denominational mindset. Thank God for Dr. Adrian Rogers."

    'Manning the pumps'

    Despite the last-minute decision to run, Rogers was motivated to serve the convention by events stretching back to his days as a student at Stetson University in Florida when he learned that some professors funded by the Cooperative Program questioned doctrines that most Southern Baptists regarded as foundational to the Christian faith.

    In one class taught by an ordained Baptist minister, Rogers "heard the great historic truths of the faith demeaned over and over," Joyce Rogers wrote in "Love Worth Finding," a biography of her husband. After class one day, Rogers gathered the courage to confront his professor and asked, "Sir, are you really saved?"

    In response the professor defined salvation as "that experience when a man escapes the consequences of a maladjustment to his fellow man" and said, "I don't know if there is a heaven or hell."

    Soon Rogers learned that the problem in Baptist life was not isolated to his university. Read More

  • Christian music stars remember Adrian Rogers

    by Laura Erlanson, posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 (4 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- The music program of Bellevue Baptist Church near Memphis has been a flagship among SBC churches for decades. So it may be no surprise that longtime Bellevue pastor Adrian Rogers had strong opinions about music. He knew what he liked. And he knew what he didn't. Read More

  • Korean pastor is 3rd SBC president nominee

    by Staff, posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 (4 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Dennis Manpoong Kim, pastor of Global Mission Church of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, Md., will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the June 10-11 SBC annual meeting in Baltimore, Texas pastor Dwight McKissic announced yesterday (May 20). Read More

  • Gay marriage now claims the Northeast

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 (4 years ago)

    "This is a story we see, it seems, every week these days."

    -- Russell D. Moore

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- A federal judge has legalized same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, handing the increasingly successful campaign to redefine mankind's oldest institution a clean sweep of the northeast United States. Read More

  • Southwestern criticized for admitting Muslim

    by Gary K. Ledbetter/Southern Baptist Texan, posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 (4 years ago)

    FORT WORTH (BP) -- A Palestinian Muslim who assisted Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's Gezer archaeological project in Israel was admitted to the school's Ph.D. in archaeology program, in an apparent exception to the seminary's admissions policy. Read More

  • 'Bless the Lord,' Kelley tells NOBTS grads

    by Frank Michael McCormack, posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 (4 years ago)

    Photo by Boyd Guy
    NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary President Chuck Kelley told the seminary's spring graduates that Psalm 103 comes to his mind as he prays for them, reminding him of God's blessing on their lives. Read More

  • Preach 'boldly,' SEBTS graduates exhorted

    by Ali Dixon, posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 (4 years ago)

    SEBTS photo
    WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) -- Ministers must take care to "preach the Gospel boldly" and not waste their lives, guest speaker Andy Davis told graduates at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's spring commencement. Read More

  • SBC Credentials Committee named

    by Staff, posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 (4 years ago)

    BALTIMORE (BP) -- Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter has named members of the Credentials Committee for the June 10-11 Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

    Dan Eddington, director of missions for the Three Rivers Baptist Association in Illinois, will serve as chairman.

    Other committee members, listed by state, are:

    ALABAMA -- Cade Farris, First Baptist Church, Wedowee; Greg Hyche, First Baptist Church, Brent.

    FLORIDA -- Pat Mobley, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Pensacola.Read More

  • Tellers Committee named for SBC

    by Staff, posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 (4 years ago)

    BALTIMORE (BP) -- Members of the Tellers Committee for the June 10-11 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Baltimore have been named by SBC President Fred Luter.

    Danny Decker, pastor of First Baptist Church, Warsaw, Mo., will serve as chairman.

    Other committee members, listed by state, are:

    ALASKA -- Ruby Stogsdill, First Baptist Church, Soldotna.

    GEORGIA -- Royce Hulett, Oakland Baptist Church, Hazlehurst.

    KENTUCKY -- C.J. Adkins, Westmoreland Baptist Church, A... Read More

  • 2nd VIEW: Civil Rights Act tore down walls, expanded reconciliation efforts

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 (4 years ago)

    SBTS photo
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- When President Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act in 1964, it codified into law provisions that many Southern Baptists had a reputation for opposing -- bans on racial discrimination in public accommodations and government programs. Read More