Rev. Will Rogers ; Missionary/Pastor

(Contributed by Clarence Crocker.)

According to his obituary in the Spartanburg Herald & Journal, Friday, February 8, 2008, Rev. William Fletcher Rogers Jr., died Wednesday January 30, 2008 in the Brooks Howell Home. He was survived by; his wife, Agnes Dawsey Rogers; four sons and their wives, Rev. Bill and Bobbie Jean Rogers, Laurens, S.C., Rev. Paul and Rev. Sheila Rogers, West Columbia, S. C., Rev. Cyrus and Lou Wingo Rogers. Greenville, S. C., Mr. Johnny and Debbie Rogers, Tryon, N. C.; one daughter in law, Mrs.Samuel (Anna Wingo) Rogers, Columbus, N. C.; one brother, Mr. Johnnie Rogers, Spartanburg, S. C. and a number of grand and great grandchildren. He was predeceased by one son, Mr. Samuel Rogers, Columbus, N. C. 

Rev. Rogers was a graduate of The Citadel and a recipient of the John O. Wilson ring. He also graduated from the Chandler School of Theology, Emory University. Rev. Rogers began his ministry, along with his wife, as a United Methodist Missionary in Brazil. He was behind the building of a number of churches and parsonages in Quari, Carazinho, Santo Angelo, Cruz Alta, Natal and Belem. Retiring from the mission field, Rev. Rogers served as Pastor of the Buffalo UMC, the Gilbert UMC and the Duncan UMC. He also served as a Pastor among underprivileged children in Macon City and St. Vincent. He was the first recipient of the Harry Denman Award for Evangelism.

Rev. Rogers, “Ducky” as he was known and called in his native village of Glendale, was without doubt one of the best known and most loved persons in the community. He drove the first school bus that carried Glendale students to Frank Evans High in Spartanburg. He was of a loving nature, spoke with a soft kind voice and had a warm handshake and a big smile for everyone. I met him on the street in Union shortly after he had become Pastor of the Buffalo Church; right then and there on Main Street, among all the passers, he grabbed me with a long hard bear hug.

Rev. Rogers was a lifelong dedicated Methodist but he was first “a servant of God, a Minister of the Gospel”. Every time he came home on furlough, after preaching in the Glendale Methodist Church, he would preach in the Glendale Baptist Church. Over the years, he preached in every church in Glendale and in many surrounding churches. I had him to preach at Fairview Baptist Church in Union when I was Pastor. My mother and dad had come down that Sunday, when Preacher Rogers got up to preach, he spotted them in the congregation.

Suddenly he exclaimed, “Well yonder is Uncle Albert and Aunt Ella”, excusing himself, he went down and hugged them both. Though not related, many if not most of the Roger children, called my parents Uncle and Aunt.

The Glendale UMC having disbanded, a memorial service was held in the Bethesda Methodist Church in Easley February 10. Glendale lost a Prince in the passing of Rev. “Ducky” Rogers. 

Copy of obituary courtesy of Spartanburg County Library. 
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