Dr. Charles Stanley, Beloved Leader of In Touch Ministries, Dies at Age 90…

Stanley Was Senior Pastor of First Baptist Atlanta for 50 Years...

Hello World,

Breaking news today…Sad and yet triumphant news today…Dr. Charles Stanley, my favorite pastor next to my father, passed away this morning. The press release below and the headline above are from Dr. Stanley’s website, charlesstanley.com.

On Tuesday, April 18, 2023, In Touch Ministries announced that beloved pastor Dr. Charles Frazier Stanley had passed away at 7:30 a.m. that morning at age 90.

Known to audiences around the world through his wide-reaching TV and radio broadcasts, Stanley modeled his 65 years of ministry after the apostle Paul’s message in Acts 20:24: “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.”

Born Sept. 25, 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, in Dry Fork, Virginia, Stanley was raised by a single mother after his father died when Stanley was only nine months old.

After receiving a call to ministry at the age of 14, Stanley earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, and a Bachelor of Divinity at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He later went on to earn the distinctions of Master and Doctor of Theology from Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta.

Before joining the staff of First Baptist Atlanta, Stanley served as pastor of Fruitland Baptist near Hendersonville, North Carolina (1957–1959); First Baptist of Fairborn, Ohio (1959–1962); First Baptist of Miami, Florida (1962–1968); and First Baptist of Bartow, Florida (1968). Stanley would become associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta on October 1, 1969.

It was two years later, on October 1, 1971, when Stanley assumed his longtime role as senior pastor of First Baptist Atlanta. The following year, he launched his foray into broadcast ministry with a 30-minute program, The Chapel Hour, on Atlanta-area TV stations WXIA and WANX (now WGCL).

The Chapel Hour—renamed In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley—went nationwide in 1978 after the Christian Broadcasting Network contacted Stanley, looking for a practical, Bible-teaching program for its new satellite distribution network. The broadcast grew from 16,000 local viewers to a nationwide audience in just one week. This led to the expansion and incorporation of Stanley’s ministry as a separate non-profit entity called In Touch Ministries (ITM) in 1982 and the In Touch radio broadcast entered syndication.

During the 1980s, the In Touch program penetrated almost every major market in the United States, reaching more than 1 million households. At the time of his death, Stanley’s messages were heard in more than 127 languages around the world via radio, shortwave, the Messenger Lab project, or TV broadcasts. Stanley was the country’s longest-serving pastor with a continuous weekly broadcast program.

Believing, as he often said, that people are to “obey God and leave all the consequences to Him,” Stanley focused his preaching on practical, Christ-centered, biblically based principles for everyday life. Many of his messages incorporated the 30 Life Principles that guided his life and helped him grow in his knowledge, service, and love of God. Other messages tackled such topics as parenting, finances, personal crises, emotions and relationships, prayer, and the character of God. Not having sought out the public spotlight, Stanley was a pastor who happened to be on TV, focused on teaching others how to seek and obey God through adversity and personal hardships.

Notable organizations and publishers honored Stanley throughout his long ministry. Stanley served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1985 and 1986. In 1988, he was inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame for the consistent excellence of his broadcast, and leadership in the realm of Christian TV and radio. Religious Heritage of America named him Clergyman of the Year in 1989, an award that recognizes pastors who strive to make Judeo-Christian principles part of America’s daily life. In 1993, the NRB honored In Touch with the Television Producer of the Year award, and in 1999, with the Radio Program of the Year award. Most recently, Stanley was recognized for selling more than 10 million copies of his more than 70 books, the latest of which was published in 2023.

Stanley was also known for his love of photography. Stanley’s images from his personal travels fill the walls of In Touch Ministries’ Atlanta headquarters and inspire program viewers to explore the beauty of God’s creation.

In September 2020, Stanley transitioned to the role of pastor emeritus of First Baptist Atlanta after serving 50 years as senior pastor.

Dr. Stanley’s family has requested that the memorial service honoring his life be a private, family-only gathering. However, if you wish to pay your respects to our beloved Dr. Stanley, he will lie in repose on Saturday, April 22, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at First Baptist Atlanta.

First Baptist Atlanta
4400 North Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30338

Stanley is survived by his son Andy Stanley, founding and senior pastor of North Point Ministries; daughter Becky Stanley Broderson; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and half-sister Susie Cox. His former wife, Anna Johnson Stanley, preceded him in death. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to In Touch Ministries.

A memorial site can be found at https://www.charlesstanley.com.

Everything I can say about Dr. Stanley, I wrote in “Seven Reasons Why Dr. Charles Stanley Stepping Down as Pastor Makes Me Sad…”  It has become one of my most popular posts, and I feel fortunate that my words have encouraged those who appreciate the ministry of Dr. Stanley as I do. I will be praying for his family, church members, loved ones and those who knew him beyond what many of us experienced via various media platforms.

I am saddened but I know that Dr. Stanley is rejoicing with his Savior and Best Friend in Heaven…To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord as is noted in 2 Corinthians 5:8…Well done, God’s good and faithful servant…

Any thoughts?

What You Thought Was Dead Can Now Come Back to LIFE on EASTER!!!

Hello World,

Happy Easter or Happy Resurrection Day! However you choose to refer to this day, this is the day that Christians the world over celebrate the most important day in our faith! Today we celebrate that while death is a powerful foe indeed, the power of death could not and cannot compare to the indestructible power of the Lord Jesus Christ! HE IS RISEN! We no longer have to live in sin, be ruled by destructive habits and or addictions or walk through this earth alone! We have a savior and a friend in Jesus Christ! Like the Baptists, I’ve got a reason to shout! Like the Pentecostals, I’ve got a reason to get my dance on! Like the Methodists, I’ve got a reason to be in silent awe! And then do it all over again! JESUS! JESUS! JESUS! Please find yourself in somebody’s church today because the Lord has a blessing for you, and you don’t want to miss it!

And speaking of blessings, I was reading the resurrection story in Matthew 27, and I read some verses that I don’t recall reading before…Do you know that Jesus was not the only one that God rose from the dead? According to Matthew 27:51-53, “51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” Many theologians have differing opinions of what this miraculous occurrence meant, and it is not mentioned if these people remained on Earth or ascended with Jesus back to heaven.

As a lay person or a regular ole Christian or maybe even as a writer, these verses are further evidence that the death and resurrection of Jesus is not just about spiritual good that is just good for Heaven, it is also a good that makes sense right here on Earth! What do I mean? Using my sanctified storyteller imagination, I imagine that one of the dead was a mother who had passed away while giving birth to a son who had never known his mother except through the stories of family and friends. On the day that Jesus rose, this child was able to meet his mother for the first time! I can also imagine that one of those dead was a beloved husband of an elderly widow that had not seen him in decades unless she dreamed about him at night. Can you imagine how elated she was when he came to her during the day? Or what about the young woman that died suddenly after a brief and mysterious illness leaving her family and friends to question why God allowed this tragedy to happen? I imagined that they wept after she confirmed that even death could not keep her from the ones she loved! I’m sure this day of resurrection was a day of overflowing joy!

So what does this mean for us today? First of all and most importantly, we have a risen savior that promises to give us eternal life with Him in heaven. And while we are here on Earth, Jesus can break the chains of sin, sickness, addiction and destructive habits and give us joy and peace that sustains us through everything! AND he can bring back to life what we thought was dead…Maybe you dreamed of launching a business but you no longer have the financial backing to get it going. Don’t worry. Just pray! He can bring this dream back to life. Maybe you’ve been set back by setback after setback. God can restore your life! Maybe you are still grieving the death of a loved one years later and have been unable to really move on, God can show you how to live and not die!

What you thought was dead can now come back to life…

Any thoughts?

Thomas Nelson Debuts ‘The Garden Children’s Bible’ in Time for Easter!

Hello World,

As a new mother of one-year-old twins, I read children’s books to my girls every day! Although they cannot read yet, I want them to develop a love for words and introduce them to all of the adventures that unfold in books! But let’s face it, before my girls will understand the words and appreciate the adventures in their books, they are looking at the illustrations in the books! Obviously, I would love for the Bible to be a part of their reading repertoire as it is filled with beautiful words and amazing adventures. But without illustrations that appeal to children, I doubt that I could get them to pay attention. So when I received the opportunity to review The Garden Children’s Bible, I knew I had to do it!

Thomas Nelson, an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, in partnership with award-winning illustrator, Butch Hartman, is pleased to announce the release of The Garden Children’s Bible. The Garden Children’s Bible is designed to help kids delight in God’s Word and start a firm—and fun—foundation for their faith! Based on the new animated “The Garden” series by Hartman (“Danny Phantom” & “The Fairly OddParents”), The Garden Children’s Bible invites kids to understand the gospel in an entertaining and truth-centered way as they read the Bible alongside stunning stories and Hartman’s signature illustrations.

“I took on the assignment of drawing The Garden Children’s Bible because of one word: legacy,” says Hartman. “Children will learn the word of God through reading and enjoying this Bible for years to come and, to me, there is no greater honor than that.”  

In this Bible, as in “The Garden” series, Hartman’s characters Lenny the Lion and Lucy the Lamb provide hundreds of application notes and helpful facts in clear, easy-to-understand language. More than 100 Bible story original illustrations, and five full-color comic strips from the animated series are included as well.

“We have deeply enjoyed our partnership with Butch Hartman. He’s a faithful Christian and his deep passion for helping children place their faith in Christ is infectious,” said Philip Nation, vice president and publisher of Bibles for Thomas Nelson. “I believe that The Garden Children’s Bible will be used to draw many children into a lifelong practice of reading the Bible.”

As a black mother, I appreciate that a black mother is illustrated within the Bible’s pages. To highlight Colossians 3:12-17, a black mother is featured. I also love the illustration for when Jesus is baptized, he looks so joyful as a glorious dove flies above his head! I appreciate the fierce illustration of Deborah, the woman judge. I want my girls to see strong women in the Bible and the illustration of Deborah will help them do just that. God is referred to as The Boss, which He most certainly is! I also love how at the beginning of every book in the Bible, there is a simple listing of who wrote it, when was it written, and why it was written. As a journalist who has been taught to always answer who, what, when, where, why and how, that simplicity appeals to me. I look forward to reading this Bible to my girls over the next few years as well as watching them eventually read it for themselves! I most certainly recommend that you get a copy or copies for the children in your lives, particularly at this time of the year: Easter.

Below are all of the specific details about what is offered in The Garden Children’s Bible, which is written in The International Children’s Bible® (ICB) translation.  This translation was created especially for children in the third grade and up and provides the ideal blend of readability and fidelity to the original meaning of the Scripture text.

  • Presentation Page – Personalize the Bible by recording a memory or note
  • Bible Book Introductions – Concise overviews highlight important events in each book
  • 300 Character Callouts – Sidebar notes presented by Lenny, Lucy, and “The Boss” bring emphasis to key Biblical concepts
  • Activity Endsheets – Activity pages at the front and back of the Bible
  • Full-color multi-page comic section based on the animated series
  • Bible Learning Lists – Names of God, Bible Verses to Memorize, Miracles of Jesus, Scripture Promises
  • End-of-page Cross-references – Find related passages quickly and easily
  • Topical Index and Dictionary – Kid-friendly tools teaching how to use the Bible
  • Miracles and Parables of Jesus – Charts create a quick reference to important events
  • 50 Scripture-based Prayers
  • Satin Ribbon Marker
  • 4 Pages of Full-color Maps
  • 10-Point Type Size
To buy a copy of The Garden Children’s Bible, click on THIS LINK for the FaithGateway Store!  I received my copy for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, and this blog post serves as my honest review.
Any thoughts?