Scholastically, John was
an under-performing high school student. But, he excelled academically in college and was very popular with the other
students. He was voted President of his Freshman, Sophomore and Junior Classes. He received the Who's Who in America
award and was recognized as one of the Outstanding Young Men In America by the National Jaycees. He sold Bibles door
to door in the south and was the top salesman and sales recruiter for four consecutive summers. But, as John says,
"that is ancient history".
is a "social entrepreneur". He believes capitalism works best when communities, towns and cites have programs,
laws, training and culture that support, unify, nurture, empower and reward individuals who use positive human and divine
values to build strong families in the communities where they reside
John is a retired minister
from a mainline, protestant denomination. He served 12 churches before retiring. His first church, after graduating
from Campbellsville University was in Raywick, KY. He lived in Lebanon and he conducted his first funeral for Boseley
Funeral Home. As a college graduate in 1975 he was paid $2,500 a year salary and all the fried chicken, corn and vegetables
he could eat that was grown on the Scotts farm in Marion County. He played tennis at St Marys, had Sunday dinner at
the Scotts and returned to the Scott farm on Monday each week to fill the gas tank of his 1973 Duster from the gas pump Mr
Scott used for his farming implements.
John's second church was on Demark Street in South Louisville. He attended seminary and ministered to the people
of the southend. John knocked on every door in South Louisville on both sides of Taylor Blvd from Bluegrass Ave to Winkler
Ave. inviting the neighbors to join the church. The church was always full. Each week 12 lay people joined him to knock
on the doors of the people in the community. The group was known as "The Twelve". During this time
John and his wife, Jeanetta, met with Dr. Beamblossom at the Beechmont Baptist church to discuss Jeanetta getting accepted
into medical school. His mentoring and her hard work made it possible for her to become a family doctor. Pastoring
in South Louisville was one of the happiest times of my life.
In 1980 John received his Master
of Divinity degree from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Most of the churches he served were located
in Louisville, Kentucky. One of his last churches was in the Highlands in Louisville, KY.
John loves people and admires and draws strength from
small business owners. John says, "they have more guts, fight and get up and go than any group of people I have
every known. When small business people make up their minds to do something, they are unstoppable".
John entered business ( on the side) as a young minister in order to help pay for his wife to attend the University
of Louisville medical school. She became a doctor and practices medicine in Brandenburg. They parted ways as friends
after 18 years of marriage and 2 wonderful daughters. They now have 10 grandchildren. John was married to his
second wife for 22 years. She died from cancer three years ago.
John started his business career
publishing art, then added public speaking seminars and workshops for Fortune 500 companies like General Electric, AT&T,
KY Farm Bureau, KY Lottery and many others. John produced and hosted the televsion program John Rodgers Mending Heart.
His sponsors were banks, hospitals, car dealers and universities. He developed the largest weight loss company in KY
with 10,000 clients and produced the #1 diet supplement in KY. (Most of John's weight loss clients were referred to him by
After he retired from business John worked for Kroger in the
frozen food section earning $6.35 an hour. He loved it but it was too confining for him. After a year and a half
he decided to start a new hobby... publishing Hikes Point News. The mission of the magazine was to promote the Hikes
Point community. This was later expanded to promote the communities and towns in the 15 County Economic Development
Area surrounding Louisville on both sides of the Ohio River.
Now John is encouraging people all across Kentucky to become
"Community Partners". John says, "every action taken in a community does not have to be formal or official".
"I encourage small business owners, groups and individuals to band together and tackle the issues and concerns of their
area. Citizens do not always need the help of local, state or the federal government to fix their problems. Local
people are better equipped to know how to solve the challenges in their community. When local people see themselves
as "Community Partners", they realize they can get more things done partnering together with one another. The Community
Partners Program builds stronger social entrepreneurs or people who are willing to take risks for their community."