Who was Charles Stanley?
Charles Stanley was a renowned pastor, author, and televangelist who led the First Baptist Church Atlanta for over 51 years. He was also the founder and president of In Touch Ministries, a Christian media ministry that broadcasts his sermons to millions of people around the world through television, radio, and online platforms.
Stanley was born on September 25, 1932, in Dry Fork, Virginia. He became a Christian at the age of 12 and felt called to preach at the age of 14. He graduated from the University of Richmond with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in theology. He later earned a doctorate in theology from Luther Rice Seminary.
Stanley joined the First Baptist Church Atlanta in 1969 as an associate pastor and became the senior pastor in 1971. He led the church through several major transitions, including relocating to a new campus, expanding its ministries, and embracing multimedia technology. He also faced some personal challenges, such as his divorce from his wife Anna in 2000 and his strained relationship with his son Andy, who is also a prominent pastor.
Stanley was known for his biblical preaching, practical teaching, and personal integrity. He authored more than 60 books, including bestsellers such as How to Listen to God, The Gift of Forgiveness, and Living the Extraordinary Life. He received numerous awards and honors, such as the ECPA Christian Book Award, the NRB Hall of Fame Award, and the GMA Dove Award.
How did Charles Stanley die?
Charles Stanley died in the early hours of April 18, 2023, at his home in Los Angeles. He was 90 years old. His cause of death was not officially disclosed, but it is speculated that he died of natural causes or advanced age. His family said that he died peacefully at home.
According to In Touch Ministries, Stanley had been suffering from declining health for several months and had been confined to a big leather chair. His son Andy revealed that in the final few weeks with his father, the elder Stanley ended each visit by asking his son to pray for him. On his last visit on Saturday night, Charles Stanley asked if he could pray for his son instead, as if he knew it would be their last time together.
Andy Stanley said that his father’s final words to him were: “I couldn’t be prouder of you Andy.” He added: “The source of a word determines its weight. Those were wonderfully weighty words. And his final words to me.” He also said that he would miss his father every day until he sees him again in heaven
How did the world react to Charles Stanley’s death?
Charles Stanley’s death sparked an outpouring of tributes and condolences from his family, friends, colleagues, and followers. Many people expressed their gratitude for his ministry and legacy, as well as their sorrow for his loss.
His daughter Becky Stanley Brodersen posted on Instagram: “My dad went home to be with Jesus this morning. I am so grateful for him and all he taught me about God’s love and grace. I will miss him terribly but I know I will see him again one day.” She also shared a photo of her father holding her hand.
His grandson Andrew Stanley tweeted: “My granddad passed away this morning. He was my hero and my friend. I’m so thankful for the time we had together and the impact he had on my life. I love you Granddad.” He also shared a video of him performing a stand-up comedy routine for his grandfather.
His ministry partner Dr. Tony Evans wrote on Facebook: “I am saddened to hear of the passing of my friend and fellow minister Dr. Charles Stanley. He was a faithful servant of God who touched millions of lives with his preaching and teaching. He was also a mentor and encourager to me and many others. I pray for God’s comfort and peace for his family and church.” He also shared a photo of him with Stanley.
His admirers from around the world also posted their messages of appreciation and sympathy on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Some of them shared their favorite quotes, books, or sermons by Stanley; others shared their personal stories of how Stanley influenced their faith or helped them through difficult times; still others shared their prayers or hopes for Stanley’s eternal rest.
What is Charles Stanley’s legacy?
Charles Stanley’s legacy is one of faithfulness, wisdom, and love. He devoted his life to serving God and sharing His word with others. He impacted countless lives with his ministry and inspired generations of Christians with his example.
He leaves behind a large family that includes two children, nine grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind a thriving church that has over 15,000 members and a global ministry that reaches over 100 countries and 50 languages.
He will be remembered as a man of God who loved God, loved people, and loved life. He will be missed by many, but his legacy will live on through his family, his church, his ministry, and his words. As he once said: “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”