Matt Broderson, 29, who is the grandson of the late pastor, sparked backlash online and gained international media coverage last month after he put his grandfather’s engraved pocket watch, coins and framed portrait up for sale a week after his death at 90.
Stanley, who passed away April 18, served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta for 49 years, was president of the Southern Baptist Convention twice and also founded In Touch Ministries, a popular television and radio broadcast that airs on approximately 500 radio stations, 300 television stations and multiple satellite networks.
“I’m a human being who has bills to pay, and you know how the economy is,” Broderson said in a YouTube video advertising the auction last month. “So I don’t really have shame in selling some of his stuff. I’m actually really happy that two of his fans are going to get to have a collection of some of his very personal items that were found in his office and in his desk that were there when he passed away.”
Following backlash alleging he was exploiting his grandfather’s death, Broderson made another video apologizing and explaining that his family members were displeased but still kept the items listed on eBay.
Stanley’s pocket watch, which is engraved with his initials, ultimately sold for $2,375 with 63 bids, and the framed portrait of the late preacher — which included “bonus items” such as other watches and coins embossed with the Last Supper and George H.W. Bush — sold for $3,650 with 40 bids.
In a YouTube video posted last weekend, Broderson said the anonymous buyer of Stanley’s pocket watch returned it to the family and called him to tell him the importance of keeping such items.
“When he told me his story, I just died inside,” he said. “And I realized how selfish I was being, so I canceled the other eBay auction for the picture frame and the coin collection and I have mailed those back to my uncle. So technically, nothing has gotten sold on eBay. Everything is going back to its right property owners.”
Broderson previously explained that he has struggled with mental health and addiction, and that his grandfather helped bring him back from the brink of suicide.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice