80th birthday celebration honors Adrian Rogers’ life, legacy
Oct 21, 2011

Photos by James A. Smith Sr.
First Baptist Church in Merritt Island hosted an 80th birthday celebration on Oct. 16 honoring the life and legacy of Adrian Rogers, its former pastor who went on to become pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., and president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Rogers died in 2005. The two-hour special worship service included reminiscences by longtime friends Peter Lord and Joe Boatwright, video tributes from James Robison, Pat Robertson and Bill Gaither, and musical selections by an 80-member “Reunion Choir” of persons who participated in the church’s music ministry as youth during Rogers' pastorate in the 1960's and early 1970's. The choir was led by former music minister Jim Whitmire, who currently serves at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. Joyce Rogers, shared memories of her husband's ministry at Merritt Island, while their son, Steve Rogers, talked about the Rogers' legacy being extended through the Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute (www.pastortraining.com).

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