‘Can I pray for you’ Dr. Charles Stanley’s son reveals his father’s last words

He will lie in repose on April 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at First Baptist Church Atlanta where he pastored for 51 years.
Dr. Charles Stanley, the senior pastor at First Baptist Church Atlanta and the founder of In Touch Ministries has died.
Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 11:51 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2023 at 10:45 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Dr. Charles Stanley, the senior pastor at First Baptist Church Atlanta and the founder of In Touch Ministries has died.

According to his family, Stanley passed away peacefully at his home Tuesday morning at the age of 90. He served as senior pastor of First Baptist in Atlanta for over 51 years.

Atlanta pastor and son of the late Dr. Stanley said during the final moments with his father, he asked if he could pray for him followed by “I couldn’t be prouder of you Andy.”

Andy Stanley is also a senior pastor, communicator, author, and founder of North Point Ministries which has eight churches in the Atlanta area.

First Baptist Church Atlanta and In Touch Ministries released statements on Stanley’s death Tuesday.

“Our hearts are deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Charles Stanley. In this time of loss, we are comforted in knowing that his faith has now become sight. The glories of heaven are now his, a reality he taught us and millions of others around the world throughout his years of faithful preaching. Our church and the kingdom of God have been impacted by this one man’s life and ministry in ways that no one can fully comprehend. Dr. Stanley led First Baptist Atlanta for over fifty-one years, and his legacy will forever shape the heart and mission of our church. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to his son Andy, his daughter Becky, and their families, and to his sister Susie in this time of loss. No arrangements have been determined at this time.”

“In Touch Family, this morning, God called our beloved pastor, Dr. Charles Stanley, home to heaven. Dr. Stanley lived a life of obedience and is now receiving the joy of his soul—seeing his Savior face-to-face. Please join us in praying for the Stanley family.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued the following statement Tuesday after learning of Stanley’s sudden death.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens also sent the following statement sending his condolences to the Stanley family:

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of one of Atlanta’s most influential faith leaders, Dr. Charles Stanley, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church. Dr. Stanley was known for his ability to make the scripture accessible to believers and would-be believers, alike. With Atlanta as his base, he created a global broadcast ministry that eventually reached people in 150 countries. Today I join Atlanta and those he reached around the world in offering prayers of condolence to the entire Stanley family as well as the In Touch Ministries family.”

Dr. Stanley was born Sept. 25, 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, in Dry Fork, Virginia. He 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, (1968). Stanley would become associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta on Oct. 1, 1969.

It was two years later, on Oct. 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 WANF).

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

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the ongoing mission of In Touch Ministries.

Messages of condolence are pouring in from across the nation following the death of Dr. Charles Stanley:

Atlanta City Council: “Countless people looked to Dr. Stanley for guidance and support in their spiritual lives. He truly helped people connect with their faith, including through his internationally broadcast sermons.”

“I appreciate his faithfulness in unashamedly teaching the Word of God. For many who travel, and also during Covid-19 when people couldn’t attend their own churches, Dr. Stanley’s messages on television not only inspired us but fed us spiritually.”

“His steadfast character, solid biblical teaching, and godly example to pastors and spiritual leaders is incalculable.”

“My heart goes out to his family, church, and all of those who have been graced by his contributions to the body of Christ.”

“I am grateful for the preaching ministry of this man and his commitment to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

“Without question, there are people waiting for him in heaven who are there because of his ministry!”

“My friend is now having a GREAT day in the literal presence of The Lord he has so faithfully taught others about for so many years.”

“We will miss this man of God but thankfully, as Christians, we know we will see him again. No doubt he is hearing “well done, good and faithful servant.” Rest well.

“I flew with him once to California and it was a memorable conversation I will never forget.”

“Dr. Charles Stanley was instrumental in bringing my parents to Christ and subsequently, my own faith in Jesus.”

“Dr. Charles Stanley has been a huge blessing to our family. He is dearly loved and will be greatly missed.”

“Whatever pushes you to your knees is good” - Charles Stanley. RIP.

Dave Ramsey: “I raveled and spoke with him a few years back. Wonderful man.”

“We lost a hero of the faith with the passing of Dr. Charles Stanley, may the God of all comfort be with his family as this good and faithful servant celebrates in eternity.”

“I read his books and listened to his sermons with great spiritual benefit. Thankful for his life and ministry.”

“It was an honor to have known him. His faithfulness to the Lord has touched the lives of countless people.”

“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 it.”

“We had been at the White House for a meeting with President Reagan. After the meeting, we were headed our separate ways when the White House called and asked if we would mind bringing Dr. Stanley on our plane to Atlanta. Something had happened with his flight and he needed another way home. I have to say I enjoyed spending those few hours with him immensely.”

“Forever grateful for the influence of Dr. Charles Stanley. May the Lord bless his family in this time of grief!”

“He has encouraged me so many times thru his sermons and teachings.”

A humble, legendary teacher and practitioner of the life and works of Jesus Christ.”