Charles Stanley's items returned to family after grandson's eBay attempt: 'I realized how selfish I was being'

Matt Brodersen
Matt Brodersen | Screenshot/YouTube

Charles Stanley’s personal items his grandson attempted to sell on eBay have been returned to the late pastor’s family thanks to the efforts of an anonymous buyer.

Matt Brodersen, the 29-year-old son of Stanley’s daughter, Becky, sparked backlash after attempting to auction off his grandfather’s pocket watch, engraved with the letters “CFS” for “Charles Frazier Stanley,” and a framed portrait of the late pastor, along with some coins.

Stanley, a prominent pastor and author and the founder of In Touch Ministries, died last month at 90.

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When the bidding closed last week, Stanley’s engraved pocket watch had sold for $2,375 with 63 bids, while a 13x13" square picture of the pastor closed at $3,650 with 40 bids. 

In a YouTube video posted Saturday, Brodersen, an aspiring YouTube content creator, revealed that the pocket watch was purchased by an anonymous buyer who returned the items to the Stanley family. The buyer also called Brodersen to share why it was important to keep memorable items in the family. 

“Apparently when he was younger and his grandfather died ... his brother and his cousin ... went and grabbed his grandpa's things and they went and auctioned it off right away and he did not like it,” Brodersen said. 

“And so, I talked to him on the phone for like 30 minutes today, and we had a great conversation and it was a little jaw-dropping … [he said], ‘I wish my family had not auctioned off my grandpa's stuff. I would have liked to keep some of those things. I'm so glad I got to buy them and send them back to your family for you.’”

“So that is when it really all sank in about how creepy or weird that was of me to do that,” he said. 

As for the framed portrait of Stanley and the coins, Brodersen revealed that the sale to the initial buyer didn’t work out due to some negotiating disagreements, and he re-listed the item. After speaking with the buyer of the watch, however, he decided to remove the items from the sale. 

“When he told me his story, I just died inside,” he said. “And I realized how selfish I was being, so I canceled the other eBay auction for the picture frame and the coin collection and I have mailed those back to my uncle. So technically, nothing has gotten sold on eBay. Everything is going back to its right property owners.”

Brodersen admitted that following his grandfather’s death, his mother told him he could take some of Stanley’s things — “but she was mainly talking about the pictures on the wall and stuff."

“I went to his desk with the intention of looking for things that I could specifically immediately sell on eBay because I was desperate for money,” he shared.

But after listing the items on eBay, Brodersen said, many people — including his own family members — "weren't happy" with him. 

After facing criticism for listing the items shortly after his grandfather’s death, Brodersen made a YouTube video apologizing for being “disrespectful,” but at the time kept the items on eBay.

“I would like to apologize,” he said. “This is just how crazy and a whack job I am. I did not even realize that this was going to make people upset. I have some issues, some mental health problems; I'm a little disconnected from reality.”

In a previous video on his YouTube page, Brodersen opened up about his turbulent work history, revealing that he was fired from multiple jobs, including working on a cruise line and driving a truck due to an Adderall addiction. 

In an interview with The Christian Post shortly after his grandfather’s death, Brodersen shared how much his grandfather meant to him, especially as he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and “blew” all of his inheritance money.

"Whenever I was down in the dumps, my grandpa would call me," he shared. "My mom would usually tell him, 'Matthew's not doing so well. Can you please give him a phone call?' And my grandpa would call me, and he'd give me words of encouragement and pray for me over the phone. And then he would keep calling me constantly to check in on me. That really meant a lot to me. That kept me alive."

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