Home Uncategorized Influential Megachurch Pastor Charles Stanley Dies At Age 90

Influential Megachurch Pastor Charles Stanley Dies At Age 90

Influential Megachurch Pastor Charles Stanley Dies At Age 90


Charles Stanley, the pastor at Atlanta megachurch First Baptist for 51 years and longtime leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, died Tuesday at the age of 90.

His life motto was “Obey God and leave all the consequences to him.”

Stanley also was the founder of In Touch Ministries, a global evangelical broadcasting company, and wrote more than 70 books.

He was considered, along with Billy Graham and Charles Swindoll, to be one of the best preachers of his generation, per Christianity Today.

Charles Stanley was born in 1932 in Dry Fork, Virginia, and attended the University of Richmond and later Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He married his wife, Anna, in in 1955.

Stanley pastored First Baptist Atlanta into his late 80s, starting as an associate minister in 1969, when the church had 5,000 members. When he stepped down in 2020 to shift his primary focus to leading In Touch Ministries and took the title of pastor emeritus, membership had grown to more than 15,000.

As president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1984 and 1985, he played a pivotal role in the so-called conservative resurgence within the denomination. In his leadership role, he supported measures to stop congregations from ordaining women and used his position to appoint a slate of conservatives to important Baptist boards.

He also was a founding member of both the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition.

Stanley faced a career crisis in 1993, when his wife filed for divorce, since he had taught that divorced men should not serve in ministry. Anna dropped the case but filed again in 1995. Some church leaders wanted Stanley to step down, at least temporarily, including his son and heir apparent, Andy Stanley.

Charles Stanley pronounced his son an enemy. Andy left First Baptist and went on to found  megachurch North Point Community Church in the Atlanta area and become a popular Christian author.

Charles and Anna Stanley finally divorced in 2000. She died in 2014.

He is survived by his son, Andy; his daughter, Becky Stanley Brodersen; and six grandchildren.


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