Dr. Charles Stanley
Charles F. Stanley was the founder of In Touch Ministries and a New York Times best-selling author. Throughout his ministry, he demonstrated a keen awareness of people’s needs and provided Christ-centered biblically based principles for everyday life.
CHILDHOOD, EDUCATION, AND FAMILY
Charles Frazier Stanley was born September 25, 1932, in the small town of Dry Fork, Virginia.
The only child of Charley and Rebecca Stanley, Charles came into the world during a time when the entire nation felt the grip of the Great Depression. To make matters worse, just nine months later, his father Charley died at the young age of 29.
However, Charles refused to let the Great Depression or the difficulties of his life define him. Through the excellent counsel and example of his godly mother, Rebecca, he grew up to trust God and obey His Word wholeheartedly.
Through the excellent counsel and example of his godly mother, Rebecca, he grew up to trust God and obey His Word wholeheartedly.
At the age of fourteen, Charles received a clear call to the ministry and—like his father and grandfather before him—he took up the mantle to preach the gospel to whomever would listen.
Charles received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Richmond in 1956. That same year, on August 19, Dr. Stanley was ordained to the ministry at Moffett Memorial Baptist Church in Danville, Virginia. From there, he pursued his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He later earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in Theology from Luther Rice Seminary.
Charles married Anna "Annie" Margaret Johnson on August 6, 1955. They eventually would have two children together, Andy and Becky. And even though the marriage ended in 2000, Charles has said he wants the world to remember what was best in Annie as the mother of his children and a woman who served God and others with her whole heart. She went home to be with Lord on November 10, 2014.
His son, Charles Andrew “Andy” Stanley, was born on May 16, 1958. Today, Andy is the founder of North Point Ministries and preaches the gospel as the senior pastor of North Point Community Church, a multi-site church based in Alpharetta, Georgia. Andy and his wife, Sandra, live in Milton, Georgia. They have 3 children: Andrew, Garrett, and Allie.
Dr. Stanley’s daughter, Rebecca “Becky” Louise Stanley, was born on June 9, 1961. Today, Becky and her husband, John, live in Dallas, Texas. They have 3 children: Jonathan, Annie, Matthew, and a grandson, William.
PASTORATES AND “THE CHAPEL HOUR”
Dr. Stanley began pastoring in 1957 at Fruitland Baptist Church in North Carolina, where he also taught homiletics, preaching, and evangelism at the Fruitland Bible Institute. He went on to serve as pastor of First Baptist Church of Fairborn, Ohio, in 1959; First Baptist Church of Miami, Florida, in 1962, where he also founded the George Mueller Christian School in 1966; and First Baptist Church of Bartow, Florida, in 1968.
On October 1, 1971, Dr. Stanley became senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia. In 1972, he launched a half-hour program called “The Chapel Hour” on Atlanta stations WXIA-TV 11 and WANX 46.
Looking for a practical Bible teaching program, the Christian Broadcasting Network contacted Dr. Stanley in 1978 to request that the program be included in its new venture—a satellite distribution network to cable systems. That broadcast grew from 16,000 local Atlanta viewers to a nationwide audience in one week.
By 1982, In Touch Ministries was incorporated and began radio syndication.
IN TOUCH MINISTRIES
Today, the “In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley” program reaches almost every major market in the United States, broadcasting to more than 115 million households domestically with the message of Christ’s sufficiency for life’s demands.
Dr. Stanley was inducted into the National Religious Broadcaster’s (NRB) Hall of Fame in 1988 and also served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention (1984–1986).
However, a turning point for Dr. Stanley’s ministry came in August 1989, when he spoke in Kansas City, Missouri, for an ITM rally. He returned to his hotel room to seek God’s guidance on a matter, and, as he prayed, his mind kept returning to Psalm 67:2 (TLB), “Send us around the world with the news of Your saving power and Your eternal plan for all mankind.”
Dr. Stanley said, “When I was done praying, I got up and looked out the large window at the Coliseum where the rally was being held. Right next to it was a rooftop covered with satellite dishes and broadcast antennas.
“When I was done praying, I got up and looked out the large window at the Coliseum where the rally was being held. Right next to it was a rooftop covered with satellite dishes and broadcast antennas…”
In that moment, God said to me, ‘That’s the way I’m going to do it. That is how I will use you to send the gospel around the world.’”
From that point on, Dr. Stanley tirelessly sought out and employed innovative technologies to send the message of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.
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 heart languages.
Dr. Stanley became interested in photography in 1962 during a mission trip to Haiti. At the time, he didn’t even own a camera and had to borrow one. But from those first black and white prints, he was riveted by the experience—photography became his favorite hobby.
Over the years, Dr. Stanley has had the privilege of traveling the world to unique locales to photograph beautiful landscapes and historic landmarks. These trips have often been a special time of communing with the Lord, and he has heard God speak to him in mighty ways on many of these occasions.
These trips have often been a special time of communing with the Lord, and he has heard God speak to him in mighty ways on many of these occasions.
Dr. Stanley has published a couple of photography books and his work can be seen featured throughout many of In Touch Ministries’ products, gifts, and website.
Dr. Stanley is a New York Times best-selling author who has written more than 70 books. Over the years, he has written extensively on the topics of prayer, emotions, spiritual warfare, and the Holy Spirit, among others.
His readers always appreciate how he breaks down complex theological ideas into practical principles for everyday living. His biblical teachings have been published as gift books, devotionals, study guides, and within the pages of the Life Principles Bibles.
Anyone looking to understand more about God’s Word can always find insights in his published works. Visit store.intouch.org to view or purchase his current publications.
A LEGACY OF FAITH
Dr. Stanley knew that it isn’t by one’s strength or talent that people find hope and salvation, but in Christ working through willing, obedient vessels.
He said, “It is the Word of God and the work of God that changes people’s lives.” Certainly, the Lord worked powerfully through the obedient, submitted life of Dr. Charles Stanley.
“Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love.”
Acts 20:24 (TLB)