Charles Stanley Buys TV Network
Southern Baptists Sell FamilyNet Television to Prominent Pastor
A megachurch pastor known affectionately by thousands as "America's pastor" announced in August his intention to purchase FamilyNet Television from the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
After more than 50 years of ministry, Charles Stanley, 75, founder and chairman of Atlanta-based In Touch Ministries, was set to officially own the Christian network by the beginning of this month. The sale amount had not been finalized at press time.
"I am excited about this new opportunity to reach millions of people around the world," Stanley told Charisma, "while also continuing the mutual goal of NAMB and FamilyNet, which is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ."
Beyond his 17,000-member First Baptist Church in Atlanta, which he has pastored since 1971, Stanley's impact has been both national and global. His sermons are broadcast over radio, TV and the Internet in more than 100 languages worldwide. He is also a New York Times best-selling author, with more than 50 books on Christian living in print. His latest book, Landmines in the Path of the Believer (Thomas Nelson), released in September.
Purchased from Jerry Falwell in 1991 by the NAMB, FamilyNet is currently available in more than 30 million homes nationwide. According to In Touch Ministries, all of FamilyNet's current and future programming is "under review," as Stanley's ministry examines ways to grow the 24-hour network's viewership.
Stanley, a former SBC president, hopes to build the network for the task he feels is urgently at hand. "I see this network acquisition as another important step toward my goal and purpose of reaching as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, as simply as possible, in the power of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God," he says.
Since August, all network operations have been in the process of moving to Atlanta from FamilyNet's former headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.
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