After nearly 50 years of serving as senior pastor at First Baptist Church Atlanta, Charles Stanley announced during a pre-recorded streaming service on Sunday that he is stepping down. The megachurch said Stanley will be replaced by Dr. Anthony George.
“Earlier this month, I informed the board that I felt the time had come for me to step down as senior pastor,” Stanley said. “I have many wonderful memories. But as much as I love being your pastor, I know in my heart this season has come to an end.”
Stanley, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and who will turn 88 later this month, will become pastor emeritus. “To say I didn’t rush this decision would certainly be an understatement,” he said.
Stanley, who’s been with First Baptist since 1969, said he’s not retiring and will remain active with In Touch Ministries, which was founded in 1992.
The church said in a statement on its Facebook page, “We are forever indebted to this man of God—not only our faithful pastor, but also a pastor to millions around the world.”
George, who assisted Stanley as the church’s associate pastor since 2012, stated, “Thank you for being strong and of good courage through every battle that you’ve had to fight, through every trial you’ve had to overcome.”
“You have stood tall and confident through all these years while at the same time remaining dependent and prayerful before an almighty God. Because you were a yielded vessel the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through you, has blanketed this globe. Truly, God has been with you wheresoever you have gone.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar