What I am about to tell you is what I heard, and only that. I have not endeavored to fact-check or verify the words in any way. At the time I heard the stories I was stunned into theological silence. I have learned through the years that I do not need to explain, or explain away, everything that I hear. When you hear the stories you can decide for yourself what you believe. The truth, here, is in the retelling.
At lunch one day Dr. Adrian Rogers mentioned to me that he wanted to get some Mid-America preaching students together for some discussion. I gave him my customary response of, “Yes, Pastor” and proceded onward with my task. We had discussed who he might have had in mind and his retort was a terse, “Some of your sharpest.”
I chose my subjects with care knowing that in seminary you usually only see potential more than greatness. Little did I know that the group would hold men who would pastor some of the most significant pastorates in the region and one future-to-be military chaplain to some of the most elite special forces units in the world. Of course, you can torment yourself by asking, “Were these men already on their journey to greatness or did this day set them apart?” God’s will after all.
Adrian Rogers kept a packed schedule so the meeting had an appointed start and end time. The meal was served and the budding theologians lept at the chance to start the dialogue. The talk was fast and far-ranging. Topics flew by in a flurry and we passed by the supposed conclusion of the meeting. Dr. Rogers seemed in no mood to end the time together so we kept talking. Finally, one question sparked a look from Adrian that I can only describe as a combination of a twinkle in his eye and a wry smile that barely touched his lips. It was as if he knew that once he told us his stories that we could never go back. Reader, you too are also here warned.
The Missing Wallet
[NOTE: I will not bog you down with lots of quotation marks, etc. but the words are Adrian’s as best I remember them]
I misplaced my wallet and it troubled me because I couldn’t remember where I left it. It wasn’t in the office so I called Joyce and asked her if it was at home. She told me it wasn’t there and I couldn’t get the wallet off my mind that day. By bedtime, I still didn’t know where my wallet was. I decided to ask the Lord to show me the location of my wallet. I prayed and said, “Lord, show me tonight in a dream where my wallet is.” My head hit the pillow and I slept soundly.
During the night I dreamed of an intersection. I could see the street signs on the pole and by the signs was a mailbox. I dreamed that I could see into the mailbox and inside of it was my wallet. I could see inside the wallet in the mailbox and I saw that my driver’s license and credit card were still there but that the cash was missing from the wallet.
The next day I received a call from a post office employee who asked to speak to, “Mr. Rogers.” He said that he had some news for me but I interrupted him and said I know that you have my wallet. You found it inside the mailbox at (and he named the intersection). The employee stammered and asked how I knew that so I told him,”Friend, not only do I know the location of my wallet but I also know how you can be saved by the blood of the Lord Jesus.” I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with that man and later recovered my wallet.
The Missing Breakfast
I had just come as pastor of Bellevue [Baptist Church] and Dr. Ramsey Pollard [the preceding pastor] invited me to a prayer breakfast in the city. We lived on the same street and he said that he would pick me up early that morning. I never asked the address since he would be driving.
The morning of the breakfast I arose early and awaited Dr. Pollard to arrive. After some time I called his house to make sure he was coming to get me but no one answered. I went outside and looked down the street but his car was already gone. Not knowing where the breakfast was, I had no way of getting there myself. I was wondering what to do when I decided to ask the Lord what He wanted. I prayed and sensed that the Lord seemed to say, “Take Joyce to breakfast.” Where should I take her, I wondered, and the answer was, “Where ever she wants to go.”
Joyce came into the kitchen and she asked why I was still there. I am going to take you to breakfast, I replied. “Where shall we go?” she asked and I said anywhere you wish. I only had one reservation and that was anywhere but Holiday Inn because it was always so crowded. Joyce got ready and as she came out she said, “Let’s go to Holiday Inn for breakfast.”
We arrived at the crowded restaurant and I told the hostess we would sit anywhere but by the window. She informed me that the only seating left was by the window. So, Joyce and I ate breakfast. At Holiday Inn. By the window.
While eating I somehow noticed a car speeding into the parking lot. Soon a distraught man appeared at our table asking, “Are you Adrian Rogers?” I am, I said. He quickly told us that he needed my help. He and his wife were having marriage trouble and she wanted to leave him. He asked if there was anything he could do to get her to stay and the wife told him, “If you can get Adrian Rogers to talk to us then I’ll give you another chance.” The man said, “I’ve been driving around Memphis praying that God would show me where you are and I thought I saw you in the window as I drove by.” I replied that Joyce and I are eating breakfast now, but when we are done we will spend some time with you and your wife.
Adrian Rogers then concluded his story. I led that couple to the Lord Jesus that day and the man is now serving as a deacon in our church.