A Georgia-based Christian university has received a $3 million gift to endow a faculty chair and launch a Global Impact Center in honor of pastor and author Charles Stanley.
Truett McConnell University, a Baptist liberal arts school in Cleveland, Georgia, announced last week the creation of the Dr. Charles F. Stanley Chair of Theology.
Anthony George, an outgoing trustee at TMU who succeeded Stanley as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta in 2020, expressed his support for the decision.
“Stanley’s preaching has been marked by our Baptist doctrinal trademarks such as Biblical infallibility, Trinitarian theology, the substitutionary atonement, the exclusivity of Christ, and the priesthood and eternal security of the believer,” stated George.
“This gift and the naming of this Chair of Theology could not have honored anyone more fitting. His ministry has modeled the bold proclamation of Scripture so visibly, so practically, so consistently, and so globally, and to this day stands on a rock-solid theological foundation.”
The first professor to occupy the chair will be Mael Disseau, dean of the Hubmaier School of Theology and Missions. He is an associate professor of Biblical and Theological Studies.
“It is also very appropriate that this gift is given to honor Dr. Stanley, who has spent his life teaching the Word of God and fighting for the Word of God and its primacy,” stated Disseau.
“I consider it a great honor to be asked to be the inaugural occupant of the Dr. Charles F. Stanley Chair of Theology. Dr. Stanley’s life has demonstrated a passion for the Word of God and the Great Commission.”
The $3 million gift to TMU will also fund the Dr. Charles F. Stanley Global Impact Center in Miller Hall.
TMU is not the first school to bestow such an honor on Stanley. The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Board of Trustees voted last October to approve the creation of the Charles F. Stanley Chair for the Advancement of Global Christianity, part of their Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions.
Adam Greenway, the former president of the Fort Worth, Texas-based SWBTS, told The Christian Post in an interview last year that he believes Stanley “may be one of our most prominent visible alumni in the history of Southwestern Seminary.”
“He and his ministry were looking for a way to honor his legacy, certainty a worthy legacy of honoring, and they saw that Southwestern Seminary was a fitting institution to partner with to do something that would be significant in terms of their investment,” said Greenway.
“The proceeds of an endowed chair support the salary of a professor who will be named to the chair, and the more of those endowed chairs a seminary has, the more likely it is it will be able to sustain its academic mission long into the future.”
Born Sept. 25, 1932, in Virginia, Stanley became the lead pastor of First Baptist Atlanta in 1971. He remained in the position for nearly 50 years until he announced his retirement in 2020.
Stanley is well-known for founding and leading In Touch Ministries, which includes the long-running television program “In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley,” as well as a widely heard radio broadcast.
During the 1980s, Stanley was part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Conservative Resurgence” movement and served two one-year terms as president of the denomination.