David Dykes, pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas, the largest Cooperative Program giving church in the United States, announced today that he would be nominating David Rogers to become First Vice-President of the Southern Baptist Convention at the annual convention in San Antonio next week.
David is a longtime field missionary with the International Mission Board and the son of legendary Southern Baptist pastor Adrian Rogers. For the past thirteen years, Rogers has served as a church-planter and mobilization coordinator in Madrid, Spain.
"For 162 years, Southern Baptists have been driven by a missionary heart," Dykes said of his reason for nominating Rogers. "Like never before, we need to refocus our convention on the fields that are white unto harvest. I believe a convention that is serious about missions should have a missionary leading us."
"Southern Baptists need a new vision to plant churches," Dykes continued. "Who better than an experienced church planter to lead this effort?"
During his service with the International Mission Board, Rogers has focused his evangelistic efforts to plant new Baptist churches in one of the most culturally, ethnically, and religiously diverse mission fields, Dykes noted. Madrid boasts the third largest population in Western Europe at 5.8 million, with a fast-growing immigrant population pushing into the hundreds of thousands every year. Recently, North African Muslims and South American Catholics have flooded the city, though Baptist churches have struggled to keep pace.
Rogers, a 1989 graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, first sensed God's call on his life to foreign missions as an eleven year-old boy at a Royal Ambassador camp. As a young man, Rogers obeyed the call by serving as a summer missionary among Navajo peoples in North America, and then for two years aboard the missionary ship M.V. Doulos with Operation Mobilization.
"As a pastor, I've made a commitment to lead our church to be on mission with God," Dykes said of Green Acres Baptist Church, which leads the Southern Baptist Convention in Cooperative Program mission giving.
"We can give all the money in the world, but budget percentages don't plant churches. Missionaries plant churches, and if it weren't for the field missionaries, we wouldn't have a convention to start with," Dykes said.
"David Rogers represents everything that the Conservative Resurgence was about. He believes the Bible, he believes lost people need Jesus, and he believes that hell is waiting for those who never trust Christ as their Savior."
Rogers and his wife Kelly have two sons from their marriage of 19 years: Jonathan, 17, and Stephen, 10.
The International Mission Board recommends that field missionaries maintain church membership in their countries of service. Rogers and his family are field members of Iglesia Bautista Buen Pastor in Madrid, Spain. Their home membership remains with the Bellevue Baptist Church of Memphis, TN, where Rogers' father served as pastor for almost 33 years.
"I will not ask Southern Baptists to elect David Rogers to honor his father, though we can all agree that his father is worthy of great honor. I will not ask them to elect David Rogers to honor our missionaries, even though we believe these faithful ambassadors of Christ deserve our honor. Quite simply, I'm going to ask my fellow Southern Baptists to elect David Rogers to honor the Lord Jesus Christ," Dykes said.
"God willing, this convention will keep our focus where it ought to be: going to the ends of the earth to tell people about Jesus. I believe that electing David Rogers will help us renew that focus."
I can't tell you how excited I am about David being nominated for First Vice-President.
(1). David is well liked and well respected by every Southern Baptist I know.
(2). David is balanced in his theological positions and peace-loving in his disposition.
(3). Of all the people who have cautioned me about the NBC, David's words of caution alone reached my heart because of his gracious, personal, carefully selected words of wisdom -- an example that if people need to be convinced of a truth, you do it through love and dialogue, not vitriolic attack.
(4). David does what all of us as Southern Baptists allege you cooperate to do -- missions.
(5). David will give us exactly what we need at this hour - an irenic leader to support Dr. Frank Page in his last year of office.
David Rogers should have everyone's unqualified support for First Vice-President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In His Grace,