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Why Did Charles And Anna Stanley Divorce After 40 Years

Charles Stanley and Anna Stanley divorce created a public disturbance, especially among his congregants. The world-renown televangelist and author shared bits and pieces of his experience while the separation was going on.

Lots of their followers have been questioning to find out what happened to them after the unfortunate breakup.

Who is Anna Stanley?

The theologian Charles Stanley tied the knot in 1955. He married Anna Stanley after a church deacon introduced them. Charles has often stated that she was not the usual type he would go for.

Anna was pretty, bright, and artistic. More importantly, she had a deep passion for God. After the wedding, she went out to work while the minister finished at the seminary.

Together, the couple has two children, Andy Stanley and Becky Stanley. Andy is the founder and senior pastor for the North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. Becky Stanley has kept her life private, but she is married and has two children. 

Who is Charles Stanley? 

Charles Frazier Stanley was born on September 25, 1932, in Dry Fork, Virginia, to his parents, Rebecca and Charles Stanley. He grew up on the outskirts of Danville. Unfortunately, his father passed away when Stanley was only nine months old.

Who is Charles Stanley

The 88-year-old became a born-again Christian at 12 years old and joined the ministry as a young pastor when he turned 14. He pursued a Bachelors’s degree at the University of Richmond before proceeding to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas for a Master of Divinity degree. 

Charles attained a second Masters’s degree in Theology from Luther Rice Seminary in Florida. Later on, he studied for a Doctorate in Theology. He is the founder of In Touch Ministrie. 

Charles Stanley and Anna Stanley Marriage Ended

Charles and Stanley seemed to enjoy a blissful marriage, but things were not as they appeared. In his 1991 publication, How to Handle Adversity, the pastor shares how he got busy when they moved to Atlanta. 

Charles Stanley and Anna Stanley Marriage Ended

He states that he got married to the ministry and began to neglect his family. This, he says, caused Anna immense hurt and rejection. It took him several years to realize the damage he had caused. The intimate details of that season are not known publicly, but the couple’s children have attempted to share. 

In his book, Deep and Wide, Andy Stanley peeks into his parents’ marriage. He says that the union had been dead long before his parents took the divorce route. Andy describes long efforts at marital counselling with trained therapists and doctors. However, he also writes that despite the prevailing issues, his parents opposed divorce, so none of them wanted to initiate it. 

The process of divorce 

In 1993, Anna Stanley decided to start the process. She filed for divorce but later amended it to a request for “separate maintenance,” a form of legal separation. Anna and Stanley could not agree on the terms, so she refiled in 1995, asking for a jury trial. Tireless efforts to reconcile the couple did not bear any fruit. 

The separation caused much tension within the Christian community and, more so, Stanley’s local church. None of them revealed the details of what led them there, but there was seemingly no other way to go. The divorce process was long and tedious and affected the First Baptist Church, where he was serving then. Stanley had committed to resigning once the divorce proceedings were finalized, but his church members voted overwhelmingly to retain him as their pastor as long as he did not remarry. 

The divorce process was eventually concluded in 2000 when it was officially announced. Despite calls from some clergy, Stanley continued with his ministry that he should step aside for some time to get his life back in order. Charles Stanley steps down.

Charles Stanley steps down. 

In 2020, Charles Stanley stepped down from the position of senior pastor at First Baptist Church. He stated that the time had come for him to do so, and George, his assistant of many years, would be taking over the helm. When he visited Dr. Charles Stanley in hospital, George shares that the two had several discussions where the senior pastor had hinted he wanted to exit. 

However, he felt that the time was not right. Charles Stanley has not been married since his divorce. He has remained busy writing books and serving at his church. Charles Stanley’s house is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and he currently lives there.

Anna stayed away from the spotlight but continued to serve actively in various churches. Anna Stanley married remained unmarried until the time of her death. 

What happened to Anna Stanleys? 

Unfortunately, Anna Stanley passed away in November 2014 at 83 years old after an undisclosed illness. She and Charles rarely spoke after the termination of the marriage.

There is also no mention of Anna in recent publications compared to his previous work. Anna was survived by her two children, six grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and two sisters. 

Two decades on, the discussion surrounding Charles Stanley’s divorce still sparks massive debate. The religious fundamentalist has remained mum about his marital problems but continues to serve faithfully in his church. 

What Are the Reasons for Dr. Charles Stanley and Anna Stanley Divorce?

Dr Charles Stanley’s divorce from his wife in 2000 was reportedly caused by what his former wife described as many years of marital disappointments and conflict.

Anna Stanley initially filed for divorce in June 1993 but was persuaded by Charles Stanley to amend it to a legal separation. Anna Stanley again filed for divorce in 1995, officially stating that their marriage of over 40 years was broken beyond repair.

Dr. Charles’ divorce also caused An unfortunate misunderstanding between Andy and Charles forced Andy to leave his dad’s church.

Andy and Charles forced Andy to leave his dad's church.

Andy’s talent as a preacher became apparent when he took over one of his dad’s satellite churches. Soon enough, he had to turn away congregants because the church had no space for them to sit.

In some ways, Charles and Andy looked like a father-son duo working together, but other times, they looked like competitors.

Almost 20 years later, when asked in an interview with CNN whether he was competing with his father, Andy said, “Not intentionally, but I felt like what we were doing was better.” 

Andy was perceived as the heir to his father’s throne once Charles stepped aside. Charles was widely expected to resign due to his divorce, but he had no intention of doing so.

Andy didn’t want his father to resign, but Charles thought that Andy supported his resignation thanks to a misunderstanding. Andy chose to leave Charles’ church after his father confronted him for siding with his enemies. 

It was really bad,” Andy told CNN. “It was horrible. But you know what? I had perfect peace. I’ve never been so sure of a decision even when the whole world blew up around us.

Charles and Andy rebuilt their relationship by spending time together and by seeking counselling. Eventually, they restored the bond that they had erroneously broken. In 1995, Andy formed North Point Community Church with a group of friends. When Charles heard the news, he interrupted his regular order of service one Sunday morning to tell his congregation, “And he has my blessing,” he said.

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