Stanley, the First Baptist who was elected as an associate pastor in 1969 two years later, informed the church’s board earlier this month about the decision.
“I’m so grateful [God] saw fit to allow me to serve as your pastor for more than 50 years,” he said. “As much as I love being your pastor, I know in my heart this season has come to an end.”
Charles Stanley, also known as Dr. Charles F. Stanley. He is an American and the founder of In Touch Ministries.
It is a Christian non-profit ministry, where he started as a senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Pastor Charles has different beliefs about religion, and he served for two terms from 1984 to 1986 as the President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
He is also a New York Times best-selling author. In 1988, he also join the National Religious Broadcasters’ (NRB) Hall of Fame.
He was born in Dry Fork, Virginia, the U.S.A., in 1932 with the name “Charles Frazier Stanley”. The famous First Baptist Church senior pastor is 88 years old as of September 25, 2020.
Charles Stanley’s Journey as Christianity
From Dry Fork, Virginia, Charles was born to Rebecca and Charley Stanley. His father, unfortunately, died nine months after his birth.
At the age of 12, senior pastor Charles was born again as a believer of the Christian religion, and at the age of 14, he began his work in the Christian Ministry.
However, then he started college and joined the University of Richmond for a bachelor’s degree.
Soon after that, he joined Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, for a Master’s degree.
Pastor Charles graduated from Luther Rice Seminary in Florida with a Master of Theology degree and a Doctor of Theology degree later.
Relationships & His Wife
Dr. Charles is not married currently. However, he was married to the late Anna Johnson Stanley from 1958 until their divorce in 2000.
Anna first appealed for divorce from the Senior Pastor on June 22, 1993, after separating in 1992. They then sat down and agreed on a legal separation while seeking reconciliation.
But unfortunately, it didn’t work out. On March 20, 1995, Anna asked for divorce again.
On February 16, 2000, divorce papers were filed again, and a judge signed the final divorce order on May 11, 2000.
Charles Stanley’s Kids
During their 40 years of marriage, Charles and Anna were parents to their son Andy Stanley and daughter Becky Stanley. Like his father, Andy Stanley is also a pastor for the North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia.
However, we don’t know much about Becky, except for the fact that she is married and has kids. Her dad has also mentioned her in a couple of his book launch events.
Charles Stanley’s Christian Foundation and In Touch Ministry
Having been born again at the age of 12, according to their religious point of view, Charles held on to his Christianity living in 1969.
He became a staff member of the Atlanta First Baptist Church. In 1971, Dr. Charles became a senior pastor at the church. However, he launched the TV program “The Chapel Hour,” a half-hour religious program, in 1972.
In 1978, the show was picked up by the Christian Broadcasting Network and began broadcasting.
Moreover, in 1977, Pastor Charles founded a Christianity ministry and named it “In Touch,” a name he got from a Living Bible he owned.
In Touch Ministries is a non-profit Christian Religious ministry founded to lead people worldwide into a relationship with Jesus Christ and strengthen the local church.
To reach as many people as possible, In Touch Ministries uses such platforms as magazines, radio, TV, and digital media to spread the Gospel.
He was elected as the President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1985. In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley broadcasts worldwide in more than 50 languages.
Pastor Charles addresses such issues as parenting, finances, relationships, emotions, and Protestant Christianity in his books.
As the years have gone by, Pastor Stanley named Dr. Anthony George, who serves as the senior associate pastor of First Baptist Atlanta, to be the one to succeed him as the church’s Senior Pastor.
Charles Stanley Stepping Down After 50 Years as Pastor
Stanley explained he isn’t retiring but will focus his energies on In Touch Ministries, which was founded in 1977.
In an interview he said:
“As you know, I don’t believe in retirement. … I’ll continue to preach the Gospel as long as God allows,” he added. “My goal remains the same—to get the truth of the gospel to as many people as possible as quickly as possible in the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God.”
After 40 years of ministry, the Southern Baptist luminary still starts and ends every day on his knees.
Stanley, who will turn 88 later this month, led First Baptist through a time of rapid growth not long after becoming Pastor that eventually strained its space.
Article updated on 18th April 2023,
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Dr. Charles Stanley, a well-known pastor and influential faith leader in Atlanta. On Tuesday morning, April 18th, 2023, Stanley passed away peacefully at his home at the age of 90.
Dr. Stanley was the senior pastor of First Baptist Church Atlanta for over 51 years and the founder of In Touch Ministries. He was also known for hosting “The Chapel Hour” on television and radio. His ministry focused on helping people understand and apply biblical principles to their lives.
Throughout his life, Dr. Stanley wrote over 60 books and preached around the world to millions of people from all walks of life. His work will continue to be an inspiration to many for years to come.
We offer our deepest condolences to Dr. Stanley’s family during this difficult time.