Charles Stanley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Charles Stanley
Charles Stanley 2020 (QS2dw7EzUk0).jpg
Stanley in 2020
Charles Frazier Stanley

(1932-09-25) September 25, 1932 (age 89)
Alma mater
OrganizationIn Touch Ministries
TelevisionIn Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley (since 1978). Television and radio.
Anna Johnson Stanley
(m. 1955; div. 2000)
Ecclesiastical career
ReligionChristianity (Baptist)
ChurchSouthern Baptist Convention
Offices held

Charles Frazier Stanley (born 1932) is Pastor Emeritus[2][3] of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, after serving as senior pastor for 51 years.[4] He is the founder and president of In Touch Ministries, which widely broadcasts his sermons through television and radio. He also served two one-year terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, from 1984 to 1986.

Early life and education[edit]

Stanley was born on September 25, 1932, in Dry Fork, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. His father, also named Charles, died nine months later. Stanley grew up in rural Dry Fork on the outskirts of Danville. At the age of 12, he became a born-again Christian, and at age 14 he began his life's work in Christian ministry.

Stanley obtained a bachelor's degree from the University of Richmond and a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He has also received a Master of Theology and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Luther Rice Seminary in Florida (now located in Lithonia, Georgia).


Stanley joined the staff of First Baptist Church of Atlanta in 1969 and became senior pastor in 1971.[5][6]

In 1972, Stanley launched a half-hour religious television program called The Chapel Hour. In 1977, Stanley founded In Touch Ministries with the mission to lead people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and to strengthen the local church.[7] The Christian Broadcasting Network began televising In Touch in 1978.[8] The show has since been translated in 50 languages.[9] In the United States, In Touch is broadcast on approximately 500 radio stations, 300 television stations, and several satellite networks, including The Inspiration Network (INSP) and Trinity Broadcasting Network. Stanley's sermons, along with other audio and video programming, are available on the In Touch website. The ministry also publishes In Touch magazine. In Touch uses tools like radio, television, magazines and digital media to advance the Gospel as quickly as possible. Stanley took the ministry name In Touch from a Living Bible he owned.

Stanley's writings and broadcasts address issues such as finances, parenting, personal crises, emotional matters, relationships, and Protestantism. According to the In Touch website, "Dr. Stanley fervently believes the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God, a belief strongly reflected in his teaching."[10]

In 1985, Charles Stanley was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention.[7]

In 2005, Stanley invited Lisa Ryan to co-host a question-and-answer segment called "Bring It Home", which aired after his on-air sermon, a segment intended to help the audience better grasp the content of the sermon through questions the average listener might ask. Ryan's participation ended in late 2006, the segment continuing with Stanley alone. In early 2007, Stanley began using the final segment of the In Touch TV and radio programs to teach on his "30 Life Principles".[citation needed]

In 2017, Stanley named Anthony George to succeed him as senior pastor of First Baptist Church at some point in the future.[11] On September 13, 2020, Stanley announced his retirement as senior pastor and transition to pastor emeritus. However, Stanley has made it very clear he does not believe in retirement, so he will be continuing to work at In Touch Ministries.

Influences and theology[edit]

With regard to theology, Stanley is an evangelical,[citation needed] and in terms of eschatology (end times) views, has been described as a dispensationalist.[12] Over the course of his ministry, Stanley developed "30 Life Principles",[13][better source needed] that have guided his life and helped him grow in his knowledge, service, and love of God,[citation needed] principles that he shares these often, including in books, Bibles and study guides.[citation needed] He credits his grandfather, George Washington Stanley, with inspiring one of his most referenced principles: “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.”[quote citation needed] In his book Courageous Faith: My Story from a Life of Obedience, Stanley said, “Granddad told me, ‘Charles, if God tells you to run your head through a brick wall, you head for the wall, and when you get there, God will make a hole for it.’”[quote citation needed] Stanley also addressed his influences and philosophy when he wrote, in 2009, that he "began to apply the principles of [Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich] to my endeavors as a pastor, and I discovered they worked! ... For years, I read [it] every year to remind myself that the truth of God is not just for one career field. It is for all manner of work and ministry."[14]

Personal life[edit]

Charles F Stanley has a daughter named Becky, whom Stanley has occasionally mentioned in his sermons.[citation needed] Stanley's son, Andy, is the pastor of North Point Community Church in nearby Alpharetta, Georgia.

In addition to his work in Christian ministry, Stanley is an avid photographer. Much of his photographic work is featured in the In Touch magazine, as well as in other materials printed by the ministry, such as the In Touch wall and desk calendars.[10][15]

Stanley's wife of more than 40 years, Anna J. Stanley, filed for divorce on June 22, 1993, following their separation in spring of 1992. The two of them agreed that Anna would amend the lawsuit to seek a legal separation instead ("separate maintenance"), while seeking reconciliation. She again filed for divorce on March 20, 1995. Even though this was not the end of the marriage, the Moody Radio Network station in Atlanta (then-WAFS) took Stanley's daily broadcast off the air during that time, as managers concluded that there was no sign of reconciliation. The Stanleys were legally separated at the time that divorce papers were filed for the last time on February 16, 2000. A judge signed the final divorce decree on May 11, 2000.[16][17][verification needed]

Their divorce caused a minor controversy in the Southern Baptist Convention. The matter was complicated by reports that Stanley had said he would resign as pastor if he became divorced. At the time of their separation, he stated that he did not believe that it would result in divorce; however, when it did, the members of his church overwhelmingly voted to keep him on as pastor. According to First Baptist Atlanta's bylaws, Stanley was allowed to remain as pastor as long as he did not remarry.[18][verification needed]

Anna J. Stanley died on November 10, 2014.[19]


  • 1980: Making The Bible Clear with Fred L. Lowery ISBN 0-961079223
  • 1982: Handle With Prayer ISBN 0-89693-963-4
  • 1985: How to Listen to God ISBN 0-8407-9041-4
  • 1985: Confronting Casual Christianity ISBN 0-8054-5022-X
  • 1986: How to Keep Your Kids on Your Team ISBN 0-7852-7351-4
  • 1989: How to Handle Adversity ISBN 0-7852-6418-3
  • 1990: Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure? ISBN 0-7852-6417-5
  • 1991: The Gift of Forgiveness ISBN 0-7852-6415-9
  • 1992: The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life ISBN 0785277471
  • 1995: The Love of God ISBN 1-56476-532-6
  • 1995: The Source of My Strength ISBN 0-7852-0569-1
  • 1999: A Touch of His Power: Meditations on God's Awesome Power ISBN 0-310-21492-0
  • 2000: Success God's Way ISBN 0-7852-6590-2
  • 2000: Into His Presence: An In Touch Devotional ISBN 0-7852-8013-8
  • 2001: The Gift of Love ISBN 0-7852-6618-6
  • 2001: Our Unmet Needs ISBN 0-7852-7796-X
  • 2002: Walking Wisely ISBN 0-7852-7298-4
  • 2002: Winning the War Within ISBN 0-7852-6416-7
  • 2003: Finding Peace ISBN 0-7852-7297-6
  • 2003: God Is in Control ISBN 0-8499-5739-7
  • 2004: When the Enemy Strikes ISBN 0-7852-8788-4
  • 2005: Charles Stanley's Life Principles Bible ISBN 1-4185-0572-2
  • 2005: Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit ISBN 0-7852-6512-0
  • 2005: Living the Extraordinary Life: 9 Principles to Discover It ISBN 0-7852-6611-9
  • 2006: Discover Your Destiny ISBN 0-7852-6369-1
  • 2006: Pathways to His Presence: A Daily Devotional ISBN 0-7852-2163-8
  • 2007: Landmines in the Path of the Believer: Avoiding the Hidden Dangers ISBN 1-4002-0090-3
  • 2008: In Step with God ISBN 1-4002-0091-1
  • 2008: Stuck in Reverse ISBN 1-4002-0094-6
  • 2008: The Power of God's Love: A 31 Day Devotional to Encounter the Father's Greatest Gift ISBN 1-4002-0093-8
  • 2008: When Your Children Hurt ISBN 1-4002-0098-9
  • 2010: How to Reach Your Full Potential for God ISBN 978-1-4002-0092-4
  • 2011: Turning the Tide: Real Hope Real Change ISBN 978-1-4516-26407
  • 2012: Prayer: The Ultimate Conversation ISBN 978-1-4391-9065-4
  • 2013: Man of God: Leading Your Family by Allowing God to Lead You ISBN 978-1-4347-0547-1
  • 2013: Emotions: Confront the Lies. Conquer with Truth. ISBN 978-1-4767-5206-8
  • 2013: Walking with God: Thoughts on His Indwelling Spirit, Volume 2 ISBN 0529108968
  • 2014: Walking with God: Knowing God Through Prayer, Volume 3 ISBN 0785206965
  • 2015: Waiting on God: Strength for Today and Hope for Tomorrow ISBN 978-1-4767-9403-7
  • 2015: Christmas: The Gift for Every Heart ISBN 9780718042172
  • 2016: Courageous Faith: My Story from a Life of Obedience ISBN 978-1-5011-3269-8
  • 2017: Finding God’s Blessings in Brokenness: How Pain Reveals His Deepest Love ISBN 9780310084129
  • 2017: Standing Strong: How to Storm-Proof Your Life with God’s Timeless Truths ISBN 9781501177392


Year Title Notes
1972 The Chapel Hour Host
1983–1985 The Breakfast Club Host
1990–pres. In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley Host
2002 TBN's Praise the Lord Guest
2011 19 Kids and Counting Episode: "Donating Duggars"
2012 Monica's Closeups Guest

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 1988: National Religious Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame
  • 1989: Named Clergyman of the Year by Religious Heritage of America
  • 1989: NRB named In Touch with Television Producer of the Year
  • 1999: In Touch named Radio Program of the Year
  • 2017: Thomas Nelson Publishing recognizes Stanley for selling more than 3.5 million copies of his books

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Synan, Vinson (2020). "Charles Stanley's Pentecostal Roots". Spiritus. 5 (2): 280. ISSN 2573-6345. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  2. ^ Staff, WSBTV com News. "Charles Stanley to step down at First Baptist Church Atlanta, become Pastor Emeritus". 95.5 WSB. Retrieved 2020-09-13.
  3. ^ Poole, Shelia; Journal-Constitution, The Atlanta. "Charles Stanley steps down as senior pastor at First Baptist". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2020-09-13.
  4. ^ "Dr. Charles F. Stanley - First Baptist Church Atlanta". Archived from the original on 2013-03-21.
  5. ^ Buck Lanford, Dr. Charles Stanley honored for 50 years of ministry,, US, October 7, 2019
  6. ^ Shelia Poole, Atlanta Pastor Charles Stanley’s ‘Life Principles Bible’ hits 1 million mark,, US, December 19, 2017
  7. ^ a b Emily McFarlan Miller, Influential pastor, Charles Stanley, steps down at First Baptist Church Atlanta after 50 years,, US, September 14, 2020
  8. ^ Mark Ward Sr., The Electronic Church in the Digital Age: Cultural Impacts of Evangelical Mass Media , ABC-CLIO, US, 2015, p. 289[ISBN missing]
  9. ^ Patricia Holbrook, Dr. Charles F. Stanley leads life of unwavering faith,, US, September 15, 2017
  10. ^ a b Stanley bio page Archived August 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, In Touch Ministries
  11. ^ Shelia Poole, Who is Anthony George, the successor for Atlanta megachurch pastor Charles Stanley?,, US, December 13, 2017
  12. ^ David Roach (December 30, 2009). "End Times: Scholars Differ on What Bible Says About Subject". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on January 1, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  13. ^ Charles Stanley (March 22, 2007). "The 30 Life Principles" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 22, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  14. ^ Charles Stanley, 2009, How to Reach Your Full Potential for God, p. 224, Thomas Nelson Publishers, ISBN 978-1-4002-0092-4
  15. ^ Many of his photographs from Alaska are featured in the ITM Photo Gallery[full citation needed] Archived June 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Staff. "Charles Stanley, wife divorce; Atlanta church affirms pastor". Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  17. ^ Blake, John (17 November 2012). "Two preaching giants and the 'betrayal' that tore them apart". CNN. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  18. ^ Baptist Press (2000-05-31). "Charles Stanley, wife divorce – Atlanta church affirms pastor". The Layman Online. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
  19. ^ News & Observer Staff (November 12, 2014). "Anna J. Stanley (Obituary)". The News & Observer. Raleigh, N.C. Retrieved November 17, 2021.

External links[edit]

Religious titles
Preceded by President of the Southern Baptist Convention
Succeeded by