“Dr. Stanley lived a faithful life of obedience, dedicated to teaching others how to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ,” according to a statement on his ministry’s website. “Now he is receiving the joy of his soul — seeing his savior face-to-face. Please join us in praying for the entire Stanley family.”
The Rev. Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, noted Stanley’s long legacy of faithfulness.
“Charles Stanley was a Christian icon, and a true media pioneer whose sermons were watched by countless millions,” Moore tweeted. “Dr. Stanley believed the Bible, and he taught its precepts faithfully — and without fanfare — for his entire life. He taught that Christians should just ‘obey God’s word and leave all the consequences to him.’”
Born Sept. 25, 1932, in Dry Fork, Pittsylvania County, Va,, Stanley decided to pursue a spiritual life in part because of the loss of his father at an early age. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Richmond, a bachelor of divinity degree at Southwestern Theological Seminary and a master of theology and doctor of theology at Luther Rice Seminary.
In 1969, Stanley joined the staff of First Baptist Church in Atlanta and became senior pastor in 1971, holding the position until his retirement in September 2020. In 1972, he began a local Atlanta television program called “The Chapel Hour,” which later became “In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley.” For his extensive broadcast work, the National Religious Broadcasters inducted Stanley into its Hall of Fame in 2018 and gave him the NRB Chairman’s Award in March 2020.
During the 1980s, Stanley served two one-year terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. He was part of the SBC’s Conservative Resurgence, a movement that led to a rejection of the progressive theological trends that dominated other Protestant churches.
Stanley was recognized for selling more than 10 million copies of his more than 70 books, the latest of which was published in 2023. Over the decades, he gained global influence as a preacher through his broadcasting efforts. According to his ministry, the “In Touch” program is broadcast on more than 4,000 television, radio and satellite networks and stations worldwide, and his sermons have been translated into 127 languages.
Other Christian leaders remembered him for a lifetime of service.
“Charles Stanley went to Heaven today. He made his mark on this world for the Gospel and his incredible teaching of God’s Word,” tweeted Harvest Crusades founder Greg Laurie, also a pastor. “I like so many others was blessed by hearing his messages on the radio and TV and he was a trusted voice we have all been encouraged by.”
“I join with thousands of friends of Charles Stanley to mourn his passing,” CBN founder Pat Robertson said. “ He was a great man of God, a wonderful Bible teacher, and his influence reached all around the world. To those of us who know Jesus, we don’t mourn the fact that one of his saints comes home, although at the same time, that doesn’t take the sorrow from our hearts.”
“Dr. Stanley’s preaching and pulpit ministry was nothing short of iconic,” said Liberty University Chancellor Jonathan Falwell, also a pastor. “A preacher among preachers, he left an indelible mark upon several generations of men in Gospel ministry. He was a friend of my father’s and a well-known friend of Liberty University. The entire Liberty family joins countless others in honoring the memory of Dr. Stanley and praying for his family.”
In 2010, Stanley was honored by Southwestern as a distinguished alumnus with Stanley telling those gathered to “do what God tells you to do next.”
“I have one goal: Get the truth of the Gospel to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, as simply as possible, in the power of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God,” said Stanley.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice