JACKSON, Tenn. – July 5, 2005 – Adrian Rogers, pastor emeritus of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., received the M.E. Dodd Denominational Service Award from Union University June 19 during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn.
Rogers is the second recipient of the Dodd Award, named in honor of the man who served as president of the SBC and who was the father of today’s Cooperative Program. The award honors those who display “excellence and leadership in Southern Baptist life, as well as friendship and commitment to Union University,” Union President David S. Dockery said.
Last year’s recipient was Jimmy Draper, president of LifeWay Christian Resources.
As pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church for 32 years, Rogers built one of the “great churches in Southern Baptist life,” Dockery said. Rogers served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention and was one of the key leaders of the conservative resurgence in the convention during the 1980s.
Dockery recalled his visit with Rogers in 1996, just after Dockery had been elected as president of Union University. The two men spent an hour in prayer.
“That was one of the most meaningful hours of my life,” Dockery said.
Bellevue Baptist Church has sent many students to Union, and Dockery said Rogers and his wife Joyce have been great friends to the university.
Rogers expressed his gratitude to Dockery and to Union for being a university that stands for biblical truth.
“Over and over again I have been asked, ‘Where can I send my son or daughter where they will get a good education, but they will not have their faith attacked?’” Rogers said. “I am so grateful for Union University. I know when they are sent there, they’re not going to have their faith decimated. They’re going to find intellectualism and scholarship saturated with zeal and devotion.”