Dr. Charles F. Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church 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 14, 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 First Baptist Church 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 1980s, reaching more than 1 million households with the message of Christ’s sufficiency for life’s demands.
Today, Dr. Stanley can be heard in every nation on earth via radio, shortwave or television broadcasts. In the United States, the In Touch television program is seen on 204 stations and seven satellite networks. The In Touch radio program is heard on 458 stations and via shortwave 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 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. Recently, 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.