Dr. Charles Stanley, at age 90, died on April 18, 2023. Surrounded by family, the famed pastor and preacher took his last breath at home and headed for his eternal home in Heaven. And what an incredible legacy of faith this man leaves behind!
Born in Dry Fork, Virginia, in 1932, Dr. Charles Stanley lived his life by a motto passed down from his grandfather. “Obey God and leave all the consequences to him.”
As a young man, he faced trials that could have easily led him down an entirely different path. His mother remarried when Charles was a teenager. And his stepfather was an abusive alcoholic.
However, God had already put a calling on Charles’ heart. At the age of 12, Dr. Charles Stanley had given his heart to Jesus and felt led toward ministry.
So, his experiences with violence at the hands of his stepfather fostered an obstinance Charles channeled into his faith.
“You see, into my ministry, I brought the survival spirit,” he explained. The prominent pastor went on to say,”You do or die. You do whatever is necessary to win. It doesn’t make any difference what it is.”
That determination paired with the wise counsel from his grandfather. And it helped Dr. Charles Stanley exhibit a fierce kind of faith that went on to inspire thousands.
“Granddad told me, ‘Charles, if God tells you to run your head through a brick wall, you head for the wall,’” he explained in his 2016 memoir, “‘and when you get there, God will make a hole for it.’”
The Determined Faith Of Dr. Charles Stanley
Not everyone appreciated Dr. Charles Stanley’s obstinant faith. Two years after he joined First Baptist Church Atlanta as an associate minister, the senior pastor resigned and Charles stepped in, initially as a temporary replacement.
Though Sunday service attendance swelled with Charles at the helm, the search committee voted against him when he applied to become the permanent replacement.
“People wanted to get rid of me,” he recalled. “They couldn’t tell me why. They just said all I preached about was how to get saved, the coming of Jesus, and how to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I just laughed and thought, Well, God, I hope that’s true!”
In fact, one of the meetings got so heated, a church board member actually cursed at Dr. Charles Stanley. When Charles advised the member to watch his mouth, the angry man responded with, “No, you need to watch yourself,” punching Dr. Charles Stanley in the face!
Andy Stanley, age 13 at the time, witnessed the whole thing and proudly remembers his father, Dr. Charles Stanley, refusing to retaliate.
“I saw my dad turn the other cheek,” Andy later wrote about the event, “but he never turned tail and ran.”
Dr. Charles Stanley, Age 90, Dies
For over 50 years, Dr. Charles Stanley led First Baptist Church Atlanta until stepping away in 2020. He also helped found In Touch Ministries, where he gained a global influence by preaching daily on the radio and television.
His teachings brought encouragement and spiritual guidance to thousands. Not only does his legacy live on through his many published works of faith. But also through his own son, Andy Stanley, who is the senior pastor and founder of the North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Held in high regard with the likes of Billy Graham, Dr. Charles Stanley was certainly one of the most prominent spiritual leaders of our age. We’ll forever remember him for his tenacity in following God’s will and his devotion to prayer.
Reactions To The Sad News
News of his death on April 18, 2023, immediately prompted an outpouring of condolences and remembrances.
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) mourned Stanley’s passing, with President and CEO of the organization, Troy A. Miller, saying:
“Dr. Stanley leaves behind a lasting legacy as a torch-bearer and trailblazer of Gospel ministry and Christian broadcasting. 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 that he is with his Lord and Savior.”
The Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, Greg Laurie, said of Dr. Charles Stanley, “He made his mark on this world for the Gospel and his incredible teaching of God’s Word. I like so many others was blessed by hearing his messages on the radio and TV and he was a trusted voice we have all been encouraged by… No doubt, he has already heard Jesus say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.’ Charles Stanley will be greatly missed.”
Thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we can find hope in our times of mourning. At age 90, Dr. Charles Stanley left behind his earthly body and stepped into the reward of an eternity in the Lord’s House. And his legacy of obstinant faith will continue to inspire long after his passing!
WATCH: Dr. Charles Stanley – God Is With You At All Times