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Andy Stanley Reflects on His Father’s Passing as Church Leaders Offer Tributes to Charles Stanley

charles stanley
Screenshot from YouTube / @InTouchMinistries

North Point Ministries founder Andy Stanley has said that his “final few weeks” with his father, Dr. Charles Stanley, who passed away at age 90 the morning of Tuesday, April 18, were “precious beyond words.”

“At the end of every visit, he asked me to pray for him,” said Andy. “Which of course I did. On my knees beside the big leather chair he was confined to for the past several months.” He continued:

But as I was leaving his house this past Saturday night, he asked if he could pray for me. As if he knew. Then, as was his habit, he said, “I couldn’t be prouder of you Andy.” The source of a word determines its weight. Those were wonderfully weighty words. And his final words to me. I’ll miss him every day until I see him again.

Charles Stanley Had Broad Impact on Church Leaders

Charles Stanley was the founder of In Touch Ministries, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Atlanta, and a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Church leaders of various stripes issued statements following Stanley’s death, expressing their appreciation for the pastor and offering their condolences to his family.

“Many of us have lots of Charles Stanley memories because he influenced so many,” said Outreach Magazine Editor-in-Chief Dr. Ed Stetzer, who shared one memory of Stanley that stands out to him. “He asked me to fill in for him one Sunday and I did—I had to buy a suit.” What Stetzer remembers about his experience filling in for Stanley was “how disappointed people were that he had a guest speaker. They were great, they were kind, and they listened intently. However, they came to hear the Bible preacher of a generation, and I loved that about them.”

“Charles Stanley went to Heaven today,” said Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, on Tuesday. “He made his mark on this world for the Gospel and his incredible teaching of God’s Word.” Laurie continued:

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 was my privilege to meet Dr. Stanley in person in Charlotte, North Carolina at the funeral for Billy Graham. He was warm and gracious. 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.

“Dr. Stanley was a titan of faith, and a bellwether among preachers of our generation,” said Passion City Church pastor Louie Giglio. “His simple yet convincing proclamation of the unwavering truth of God’s Word was a foundation on which millions of people around the globe could build their lives in a personal relationship with Him.”

Prestonwood Baptist Church (Plano, Texas) pastor Dr. Jack Graham said Stanley had a spiritual legacy that “will last for generations. I am grateful for the preaching ministry of this man and his commitment to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. All the praise goes to Jesus.” 

Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House in Dallas said, “Without question, there are people waiting for [Charles Stanley] in heaven who are there because of his ministry! Join me in condolences to all those who mourn.”

“I’d like to add my name to the long list of Charles Stanley admirers,” said Max Lucado, teaching minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. Lucado shared, “Early in my ministry, I struggled with the doctrine of eternal security. I read Dr. Stanley’s book on the topic and reached out to see if we could talk.” Stanley agreed to talk with Lucado and met him for lunch in Atlanta. “Our one hour lunch stretched into three,” said Lucado. “He answered every question – so kind, wise. Thank you, Charles. With his passing, heaven is richer, earth poorer.”