Charles-Stanley
Charles Stanley | Biography 2021

Quick Information

  • Full Name Charles Stanley
  • Occupation Pastor, Author
  • Nationality America
  • Birthplace Virginia, USA
  • Birth Date September 25, 1932

Charles Stanley | Biography 2021

Charles Stanley is an American pastor, founder of In Touch Ministries, who took Christianity nationwide and across the world through media by radio and television shows and books and magazines.


Charles Stanley is an American pastor, founder of In Touch Ministries, who took Christianity nationwide and across the world through media by radio and television shows and books and magazines.   

Who is Charles Stanley?

Charles Stanley, also known as Dr. Stanley, is Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church of Atlanta. He is a Christian minister who has contributed more to the development of Christianity in America.

Dr. Stanley initially sensed the call to preach when he was 14 years old. He later went on to study pastor and got ordained in 1956. He then started conducting a half-hour-long preach on Jesus Christ through a television broadcast called The Chapel Hour in the Atlanta region.  

The broadcast achieved immense success, and his show aired nationwide, after which he established a foundation called In Hour. Through the foundation, he published magazines, broadcasted on radio, television, etc. on Christianity, and became an international messenger of Christianity.

Dr. Stanley’s team reached many countries in times of need and provided comfort to thousands of believers. For his generous contribution, Stanley was honored in the National Religious Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame. He was also awarded the ‘Clergyman of the Year’ by the Religious Heritage of America. In Touch was awarded the NRB Television Producer of the Year and Radio Program of the Year.

Early Bio

Charles Frazier Stanley was born on September 25, 1932, to Charley Stanley and Rebecca Stanley in Dry Fork, Virginia. His father died when he was very young. At the time of grief, he found solace in the warmth of God. Stanley was raised by his mother and grandfather, who influenced him to trust in God and faith. 

In 1947, when he was 14, Stanley sensed the call to preach and felt the desire to follow the faith as a Christian Minister. He graduated high school from George Washington High School. In 1956, Stanley completed his degree in Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Richmond, Virginia. The same year, he got ordained by the Baptist Ministry. In 1957, he graduated from the Southwestern Theological Seminary, Texas, with a Bachelor's degree in Divinity. In the same year, he began his journey as a pastor at the Fruitland Baptist Church, North Carolina. Later in 1968, he received Master of Theology and Doctor of Theology degrees from Luther Rice Seminary, Georgia, and became the first Baptist of Atlanta.

Before In Touch

By 1971, Stanley had become the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia. In 1971, he launched a half-hour television program called The Chapel Hour on the Atlanta area television station. In 1978, the Christian Broadcasting Network incorporated Dr. Stanley’s program into their new venture, distributing a Bible Teaching Program via the satellite network cable system. After that incorporation, within a week, his broadcast was nationalized for nationwide viewers.

In Touch and After

After the immense success of The Chapel Hour, in 1977, Dr. Stanley established In Touch, a foundation he named after the living bible he owned at that moment. In 1979, the foundation started publishing its working newsletter In Touch Magazine. In 1982, Stanley founded In Touch Ministries, with a mission, "to lead people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and to strengthen the local church."

However, the ideas and thoughts for In Touch programs have been underway since 1980. One among the programs was featuring ‘the message of Christ’s sufficiency for life’s demands, which became so popular that it is heard by more than 1800 radio and television stations across the country. Reaching more than one million households, his messages spread throughout the nation soon after its first broadcast. The broadcast peaked its success when it spread beyond nations and got translated to more than 50 languages. In due time, In Touch received many awards for its generous contribution to Christianity through In Touch Magazine, DVDs, CDs, books, pamphlets, and other materials. 

Following In Touch’s notable success, Dr. Stanley joined the National Religious Broadcaster (NRB) board of directors in 1982. He served as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention for two terms from 1984 to 1986. By 1988, he was recognized on the NRB’s Hall of Fame, honoring his prominent contribution to the realm of Christianity from his radio and television broadcasts.

In 1989, he was named the ‘Clergyman of the Year’ by the Religious Heritage of America for his excellence in propagating the Judeo-Christian principles in America. Then, in 1993 the program In Touch was awarded the NRB Television Producer of the Year and in 1999 the NRB’s Radio Program of the Year.

In Touch progressed further it launched its online platform in 1986 and In Touch Messenger in 2000. Soon, the foundation reached international listeners. Among its missions, the crucial one is when the In Touch members reached out to the US military during the Congo Civil War when they were defending freedom in Somalia.

Thanking the missionary, one of the national Floribert Bayongwa wrote, “Thank you for your [In Touch] support in order to spread the gospel through the distribution of the International In Touch Messenger in our country. As you would like to know we are well but busy. So far, we are about to finish the distribution process. At this moment, sixty-one Messengers have been distributed (on an individual basis and free of charge) as 40 messengers for women who have been victims of rape and who are receiving medical treatment in Bukavu; 10 messengers for new believers in Kabare village (Mont Sinai local church); 11 messengers for new believers in Walungu territory(Carmel local church). For each location, we are spending four days explaining how to operate the unit because this is the first time for most of them to receive this kind of Messenger."

In 2020, at the age of 87, after 52 years of serving as the senior pastor to the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Dr. Stanley stepped down from his position and was instated as pastor emeritus.

Announcing that he would continue to work with the In Touch foundation, Dr. Stanley said, “Earlier this month, I informed the board that I felt the time had come for me to step down as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta to become pastor emeritus… to say, I didn’t rush this decision would certainly be an understatement and I love all that God has done through our partnership together. I know in my heart this season has come to an end.”

Books

Alongside his duties to the congregation and In Touch foundation, Dr. Stanley has authored more than 35 books and is one of the New York Times best-selling authors. Some of them were, 'How to Keep Your Kids On Your Team' (1986), 'A Man's Touch' (1992), 'Handle With Prayer' (1992), 'The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life' (1995), 'The Blessing of Brokenness' (1997), 'Into His Presence' (2000), 'Handbook for Christian Living' (2000), 'How to Listen to God' (2002), 'Eternal Security' (2002), 'The Gift of Forgiveness' (2002), 'How to Handle Adversity' (2002), 'Success God's Way' (2002), 'God Is in Control' (2003), 'When Tragedy Strikes' (2004), 'The Source of My Strength' (2005), 'When the Enemy Strikes' (2006), 'Landmines in the Path of the Believer' (2008), 'Living the Extraordinary Life' (2008), 'In Step with God' (2008), 'How to Let God Solve Your Problems' (2008), and 'God Has a Plan for Your Life' (2008).

In 2021, as per Thomas Nelson Publishing, Dr. Stanley sold more than 6.5 million copies of his books.

Among them, his Life Principle Series was his famous and most selling writing. The series first started in 1996, the first book was published on 1 September 1996 titled ‘Relying on the Holy Spirit’. Its second edition was later published on 1 January 2008. 

Meanwhile, the second installment of the series, ‘The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible’ was his valued ideals delivered to assist every Christian in his or her life's activities. It was published on 3 October 2006 and was sold with over 442,000 copies in print. The book presented the life principles he learned from the Bible through his years of Bible teaching and pastoral service. The book is incorporated with helpful articles, notes, and sidebars that explain what the Bible has to say on life's most pressing issues.

Further on 1 November 2005, ‘The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible: A Life Principles Resource’ was published as an extension as an ideal as a supplement to his ‘Life Principles Bible’ or as stand-alone resources. They gave a fresh take on Bible study, combining biblical truth with personal reflections, emotional responses, and a call to action. It guided the reader to connect with God, themselves, and the bible by sole reading or group reading. 

Then, ‘30 Life Principles (Life Principles Study)’ was published on 3 June 2008. This version of his life principles was his every day 30 Life Principles that aimed to help the reader to grow closer to Christ, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit's strength, as well as pure effort and discipline.

It focused on certain areas of life where the reader can discover things like ‘God's Word is an unshakable anchor in times of storm’, ‘fight all your fights on your knees and you'll always win’, ‘God works on behalf of those who wait for Him’, among others. These principles were intentionally put out as a study guide for personal or group devotional study, with enough material for each day of the month and mature their life into the likeness of Christ.

Following his Life Principles Study Series, on 1 January 2012, Dr. Stanley introduced, ‘Leaving a Godly Legacy (The Life Principles Study Series)’. This was a new series of Bible studies where he included the pastor's and author's insights and advice. This book was conventional for small groups and individuals looking for a spiritually sound and practical Bible study in order to discover a plethora of ideas. It helped them comprehend and apply the Scriptures in the real world to find a wealth of resources. 

Each title of the book emphasized personal identifications with the Scripture reading, acknowledgment of emotional reaction, a meditation on the passage's significance and application along with taking actions to implement what's been learned in a unique fourfold method to get the most out of the Bible study time, which was aimed to be an excellent method for studying God's Word.

Other than that, Dr. Stanley published ‘Courageous Faith: My Story From a Life of Obedience’ on 27 September 2016. In this book, he looks into the eyes of the reader and says, "This is how my faith has worked for me at the most difficult periods of my life, and how it has to lead me to the wins God has in store for me." 

He discusses how his own faith decisions guided his every move as he reflects on his long ministry career. He talks about how God was there for him through his most trying days as a pastor when he was dealing with internal turmoil at a church where he had served for years. His recounts of time when life wasn't simple and trite answers didn't work, the difficult family situations that led him to his knees and taught him to seek to God for answers. 

This book was a reminder that choosing to follow and obey God in the midst of adversity may be both the most difficult and the most rewarding thing one can ever do. Dr. Stanley constantly reflects on this idea when counting on the biblical principles that guided him through his trials and triumphs and says, “Do what God says is right and leave the consequences to Him—no matter what that entails.”

Then, on 10 October 2017, another book was published ‘Standing Strong: How to Storm-Proof Your Life with God's Timeless Truths’. This was among his famous books where he covered crucial areas of conviction that could make or break who we are and how we live. He further eluded that what we choose to think affects whether or not we will be able to stand strong in this life—during the good times as well as the bad. 

And standing strong delved into the Bible to discover the key topics in life that required conviction, such as our determination to seek justice for the voiceless and poor, our beliefs about God as sovereign Creator, our convictions about Jesus as God's Son, and our belief that the Bible is actually the Word of God. Then our commitment to stand by the people we love, our decision to be men and women of integrity and character, our determination to be men and women of integrity and character, our beliefs about God as sovereign Creator, our convictions about Jesus as God's Son, and our belief that the Bible is actually the Word of God.

His learning from the book was the result of a lifetime of defining his convictions—based on God's Word—and deciding to stand firm in what he believed no matter the consequences. As he shared what he had learned, he led the examination and shaping of beliefs so that it can be easier to live a strong, confident, hopeful life. He also assured that the conviction found in god’s truth cannot be or go wrong. 

Along with his writings, Dr. Stanley also labels Acts 20:24 as the truth to best describes his motivation; which he connoted to be, "Life is worth nothing unless I utilize it for completing the task given to me by the Lord Jesus—the labor of informing others about God's tremendous compassion and love." This is because, as he puts it, "it is God's Word and God's work that affects people's lives."

Personal Life

Dr. Stanley is very passionate about photography. In Touch foundation also featured his 2007 collection. He was married to Anne Stanley, but Anne filed for divorce in 2000.

Although the reason behind the divorce was kept private, Dr. Stanley, in his book 'How to Handle Adversity' in 1991, mentioned his marriage problems with his wife, “In 1970 we moved to Atlanta, and I got too busy. I became married to the ministry and began to neglect my family. It took me several years to see how I was at fault and to put things back in order. Anna experienced a great deal of hurt and rejection during that time. There were moments when I was not sure either of us could go on.”

He suffered great pain after his divorce. Mentioning that he had leaned to God at those times, he said, “When she decided to leave me, I decided to say, ‘Okay, God, I’ve done what you told me to do. I’ve been obedient to you. Now I’m going to trust you.’ And I remember when I got the call from her attorney that she was suing me for divorce, and he asked me where to send the papers and I told him—and then when I hung up, I remember exactly what I felt. I remember saying, ‘God, you’ve been with me through every circumstance. You’re going to see me through this one.’ I knew he would.”

Dr. Stanley and Anne Stanley had two children, Andy Stanley and Becky Stanley. Andy went on to find his ministry, North Point Ministries, one of the largest in the nation.

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