ATLANTA, GEORGIA – Dr. Charles F. Stanley, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and founder of In Touch Ministries, demonstrates a keen awareness of people’s needs by providing practical biblical truths for everyday life. Modeling his ministry after the apostle Paul’s message to the Ephesians, Dr. Stanley believes that:
" . . . 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" (Acts 20:24 LB).
Dr. Stanley’s earliest childhood memories are of God’s support during the difficult circumstances following the death of his father. Through the counsel and example of his godly mother and grandfather, he learned to trust and obey God’s Word. At the age of fourteen, Dr. Stanley received a clear call to the ministry, which later led him to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, and a Bachelor of Divinity degree at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He then earned the degrees of Master of Theology and Doctor of Theology from Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta. Always practical, Dr. Stanley often says, "I feel I cannot honestly tell you how to believe Bible truths, and put these truths to work in your life, until I have first let God work them into my own life."
In 1971, Dr. Stanley became Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia. In 1972, a half-hour program was launched on an Atlanta-area television station. Looking for a practical Bible teaching program, the Christian Broadcasting Network contacted Dr. Stanley in 1978 to request the program inclusion on its new venture, a satellite distribution network to cable systems. At no cost to First Baptist Church, the broadcast grew from 16,000 local Atlanta viewers to a nationwide audience in one week. By 1982, In Touch Ministries was incorporated and began radio syndication. The In Touch program penetrated almost every major market in the United States during the 1980’s, reaching more than one million households with the message of Christ’s sufficiency for life’s demands.
Today, the In Touch program can be heard in every nation on earth via radio, short wave, or television broadcasts. In the United States, the In Touch television program is seen on 204 stations and 7 satellite networks. The In Touch radio program is heard on 458 stations and via short wave radio. The ministry continues to produce audio- and videotapes,CDs, DVDs, pamphlets, books, and an award winning daily devotional magazine, In Touch.
Dr. Stanley’s messages tackle such issues as parenting, finances, personal crises, emotions, and relationships. Instructional teaching for personal spiritual growth focuses on prayer, the character of God, fellowship through the Holy Spirit, and the Person of Jesus Christ. Dr. Stanley fervently believes the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God, a belief strongly reflected in his teaching.
Notable organizations and publishers have honored Dr. Stanley. In 1988, he was inducted into the National Religious Broadcaster’s (NRB) Hall of Fame for the consistent excellence of his broadcast and leadership in the realm of Christian television 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. Just this year, Thomas Nelson Publishing recognized Dr. Stanley for selling more than 3.5 million copies of his books. Dr. Stanley has also served two terms as President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Dr. Stanley has authored more than 45 books, including several best sellers. Some of his titles include A Man's Touch, Handle With Prayer, How To Listen To God, Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure, The Gift of Forgiveness, How to Keep Your Kids On Your Team, The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life, The Source of My Strength, How To Handle Adversity, The Blessing of Brokenness, Success God's Way, Handbook for Christian Living, Into His Presence, and When Tragedy Strikes.
A common theme found in In Touch's voluminous listener correspondence is how God has changed lives through Dr. Stanley’s teaching. Any success achieved by In Touch or Dr. Stanley is directly attributed to the hand of God. Dr. Stanley says, "It is the Word of God and the work of God that changes people’s lives."
The goal of Dr. Charles Stanley is best represented in In Touch's mission statement: To lead people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and to strengthen the local church. Dr. Stanley’s heart’s desire is to get the Gospel to "as many people as possible, as clearly as possible, as irresistibly as possible, and as quickly as possible–all to God’s glory."