The Rev. Adrian Rogers, 74, a three-time president of the Southern Baptist Convention and leader of a conservative takeover of the denomination, the nation's second-largest, died Nov. 15, it was reported in Memphis. He had pneumonia and cancer.
Mr. Rogers was elected president in 1979 as conservatives assumed control of the 16.3 million-member church, second in size in the United States to the Roman Catholic Church.
His election was a watershed moment for the denomination, and the church shifted dramatically to the right politically and theologically.
The conservative movement had focused on taking over the denomination's key positions. As president, Mr. Rogers appointed other conservatives to committees that set policies and priorities for the faith.
In the years that followed, conservative leaders pushed hard against abortion rights, homosexuality and female pastors.
This year, the church ended its eight-year boycott of the Walt Disney Co. for violating "moral righteousness and traditional family values." In 2004, the Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention withdrew from the Baptist World Alliance, saying it had become too liberal and that it advocates "aberrant and dangerous theologies."
Mr. Rogers was pastor of the 28,000-member Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis for 32 years, retiring in March.
During his career, he conducted religious crusades in Taiwan, South Korea, Israel, Russia, Romania, and in Central and South America.
In 2003, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the National Religious Broadcasters.
Adrian Pierce Rogers was a native of West Palm Beach, Fla., and a 1954 graduate of Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. He received a master's degree in theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1958.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Joyce Gentry Rogers; four children; nine grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. An infant son predeceased him.