Evangelist and Director of In Touch Ministries Dr. Charles Stanley is officially stepping down from his position as head pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Stanley was the head pastor of the church for almost 50 years, while also holding a leadership role at In Touch Ministries, a Christian non-profit focusing primarily on family and child development in addition to preaching the gospel and equipping believers to live the Christian life and share their faith.
While Dr. Stanley isn’t leaving the church, he is taking a on a new position as pastor emeritus. Dr. Stanley said the reason was to focus more exclusively on In Touch Ministries, which he founded in 1977.
The decision isn’t new, as the inklings of the conversation began in 2018. Dr. Stanley says the reason for the positional change is mainly to “continue to preach the gospel as long as God allows. My goal remains the same—to get the truth of the gospel to as many people as possible as quickly as possible in the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God.”
In Touch Ministries was started based on a single television church service called “The Chapel Hour.” Since then, In Touch Ministries has grown to being played on over 1200 radio stations,130 different television stations/networks and translated into over 100 languages. Dr. Stanley is a New York Times best-selling author who has written over 60 books, including Relying On The Holy Spirit, Experiencing Forgiveness, and The Life Principles Study Bible.
Dr. Stanley was born in Dry Fork, Virginia, in 1932, making him 87 years old. He became a Christian at the age of 14 and has remained dedicated to his faith. He became Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in 1971 and said he learned a lot on finances from Napoleon Hill, writer of the book Think and Grow Rich.