Thousands Mourn TV Preacher Charles Stanley

Monday, April 24, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

ATLANTA, USA (Worthy News) – Thousands of people paid their respects over the weekend to late U.S. preacher Charles Stanley who built a global evangelical broadcasting empire from the pulpit of his First Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Under his back-to-the-Bible preaching and leadership, the Baptist pastor brought an evangelical message from his Atlanta megachurch through an extensive network of television and radio stations.

He also authored many books as part of his more than half a century of spreading the Gospel of Christ Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life before he passed away Tuesday at his home in Atlanta. He was 90 years old. The reason for his death wasn’t immediately announced.

Born in rural Dry Fork in the U.S. State of Virginia, Stanley was senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta for 50 years and once led the Southern Baptist Convention.

Yet he never made leadership roles stand in the way of what he said was the evangelist “calling” he believed he received from God.

His church grew rapidly after he became its leader in 1971, moving from central Atlanta to a suburban campus in 1997 to accommodate a growing flock in the sprawling urban area with as many as 15,000 members.

In 1971, he began broadcasting with “The Chapel Hour,” a 30-minute program on two Atlanta television stations.


It was renamed “In Touch With Dr. Charles Stanley” and became a nationwide broadcast on the Christian Broadcasting Network in 1978. By the 1980s, “In Touch” reached more than 1 million households, his website said.

At the time of Stanley’s death, his messages were heard in more than 127 languages on TV and radio worldwide, making him one of the longest-serving pastors with a continuous weekly broadcast program.

“Dr. Stanley leaves behind a lasting legacy as a torch-bearer and trailblazer of Gospel ministry and Christian broadcasting,” said Troy A. Miller, president of National Religious Broadcasters (NRB).

“We were blessed to have such a faithful servant of the Lord as a veteran NRB member and a faithful supporter and encourager of the work of NRB. Our condolences and prayers are with Dr. Stanley’s family. Although we mourn his loss in this life, it is a joy to know he is with his Lord and Savior.”

U.S. Evangelist Franklin Graham recalled that he “had the privilege of preaching for Dr. Charles Stanley at First Baptist Church Atlanta, the church he pastored since the early 1970s.”

Graham noted, “When he asked me to speak for him — honestly, I was intimidated. Who could ever fill a pulpit like his?”

He stressed that the church had grown so significant that “thousands of people [were coming] to his church every Sunday to hear some of the greatest Bible teachings in the world.”


That view was shared by those standing in line to pass the flower-draped coffin of the evangelist in the church sanctuary.

Among the mourners were Joshua Olubu and his wife Juliana, both pastors.

“Dr. Stanley has been a blessing, No. 1 to the body of Christ, No. 2 as a mentor,” Joshua Olubu told reporters. “One of the messages I listened to this morning was talking about our thoughts and our minds to control our thoughts.”

There were no speakers and no sermons Saturday, but it was a chance for worshippers to have a place to reflect and pray.

Piano music playing Christian songs accompanied their walk to the coffin.

Stanley’s funeral was being held privately.

“It’s been a blessing through his messages,” Joshua Olubu said. “We believe strongly that was his legacy and life.”

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