Church/Ministry: First Baptist Atlanta
First Baptist Atlanta
Founded in 1848 by Pastor D.G. Daniell, under the commission of the Baptist State Convention, First Baptist Atlanta has become a staple of a community and city of believers. Following the leadership and guidance of Dr. Charles F. Stanley since 1971, First Baptist Atlanta is considered to be the foundation of spiritual development for a multitude of followers internationally. Addressing social and spiritual concerns such as parenting, finances, personal crises, emotions and relationships, FBA guides believers through the inerrant word of God for the purpose of personal spiritual growth. Through an applicable reference to Godís Word, FBA focuses on prayer, the character of God, fellowship through the Holy Spirit and the Person of Jesus Christ. First Baptist Atlanta continually works to service the needs of believers, followers, and seekers of Godís holiness through various missions, ministries, and programs. Beginning in 1982, InTouch Ministries was incorporated to distribute the teachings and guidance of Dr. Stanley and First Baptist Atlanta to an expanded audience. Together, the teaching of Dr. Stanley and beliefs of FBA are available globally via radio, television broadcast, audio and video tapes, CDs, DVDs, pamphlets, books, and an award-winning daily devotional magazine, InTouch. First Baptist Atlanta is inspired to continue its efforts and Spirit-driven desire to do Godís work, delivering the Gospel to ďas many people as possible, as clearly as possible, as irresistibly as possible, and as quickly as possible Ė all to Godís glory.Ē
Dr. Charles F. Stanley, pastor of First Baptist Church Atlanta and founder of InTouch Ministries, demonstrates a keen awareness of peopleís needs by providing practical biblical truths for everyday life. Modeling his ministry after the apostle Paulís 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 Ė the work of telling others the Good News about Godís mighty kindness and love" (Acts 20:24 LB). Dr. Stanleyís earliest childhood memories are of Godís 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 Godís 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, InTouch Ministries was incorporated and began radio syndication. The InTouch program penetrated almost every major market in the United States during the 1980s, reaching more than 1 million households with the message of Christís sufficiency for lifeís demands. Today, Dr. Stanley can be heard in every nation on earth via radio, shortwave, or television broadcasts. In the United States, the InTouch television program is seen on 204 stations and 7 satellite networks. The InTouch 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, InTouch. Dr. Stanleyís 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 Broadcasterís (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 Americaís daily life. In 1993, the NRB honored InTouch 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. Dr. Stanley has authored more than 45 books, including several best sellers. Some of his titles include A Manís 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 Godís Way, Handbook for Christian Living, Into His Presence, and When Tragedy Strikes.