WELCOME HOME – Dr. Charles Stanley is now with the Lord. He passed yesterday morning but left a legacy that touched millions. I had the pleasure to meet him twice. Once at First Baptist Church of Atlanta and another at a book signing in my hometown of Maryland. Both times he was gracious to this young preacher. I had the privilege on three occasions, to be a guest on his radio ministry at IN TOUCH studios in Georgia. He was the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and was a Biblical scholar, incredible teacher, powerful preacher and phenomenal pastor. His presence on radio and TV blessed me personally and gave me a vision ministerially. Both he and Dr. Billy Graham indirectly taught me the power of reaching the masses through media. It was an honor to serve five years on staff with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc.
My dear friend, Randy Hogue is a fellow evangelist and travelled for two years with Dr. Leonard Ravenhill. Randy told me a story that Dr Ravenhill called Dr Stanley while pastoring FBC Atlanta and said, “Charles, the Lord told me to call you and schedule me to come preach revival at your church.” Dr Stanley not to disappoint God did invite Ravenhill and they had a massive move of God. The revival was extended and birthed the homeless center and soup kitchen that is still thriving today. Very few could get Dr Stanley on the phone, call him by his first name and demand that he and his church needed revival. It also shows their friendship and his humility and deep desire to serve the Lord. I do have a picture with him but today it is appropriate to just show him with his Bible. Grateful for the autograph he inscribed to me and the Lord used him in a powerful way. God used my good friend, Dr. Felix Snipes to recommend him as the senior pastor at Atlanta. Felix was an evangelist and he and a young Charles Stanley tag teamed at several revivals and he was also on the search committee at FBC Atlanta. Dr. Stanley and his family lived two months in Felix house with he and his wife while shopping for a home. God used an evangelist to bring this man of God whom many considered “America’s pastor.” Everyone knows Dr. Stanley but it was my friend, Felix behind the scenes to help open the door. When you help others one never knows what God can do when we think of others. Who can you bless today? They both teach us about respect, teamwork and finishing strong. Both of those Gospel generals are with the Lord today. Praying comfort for Dr. Stanley’s family and Heaven is wider by God’s Grace and his obedience to the call. Welcome Home, sir and praise the Lord.