Champions by Year
William E. Rogers
In October 2005, at the age of 75, William Rogers, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, coordinated an international network of volunteers to help rebuild his Katrina-ravaged Bywater community. In collaboration with the Louisiana Baptist Convention and Assistant Pastor Charlie Dale, Rogers toiled 12 hours a day, seven days a week through countless phone calls and emails in search of volunteers.
The effort was successful and “Brother Bill” was soon arranging travel, housing and work schedules for scores of volunteers arriving from all over the country – and as far away as Japan. With tools, supplies and truckloads of sheetrock, the volunteers helped repair his church, revive the inundated area and along with it, the spirit and hope of the community.
Having evacuated to upstate New York for Hurricane Katrina, William Rogers was told there were many reasons not to return to New Orleans. After all, he was safe and comfortable at his son’s house. His family and friends urged him to remain there. And at the age of 75, he already provided more than three decades of caring to his community.
However, holding on to what is safe and comfortable is not what Brother Bill is all about. In fact, this former med student turned urban missionary also completed his dissertation and earned a doctorate degree in ministry in 2006.
Life experience can provide us with many things as we get older … important things like knowledge, wisdom and self-awareness. It can also provide the realization of purpose – our reason for living. Common sense told William Rogers to stay in New York. Self-realization compelled his return to the Bywater community.
William E. Rogers … Peoples Health Champion.