According to Dr. Charles Stanley’s ex-wife, the couple’s 2000 divorce was the result of many years of marital dissatisfaction and struggle. Anna Stanley filed for divorce in June 1993, but Charles Stanley convinced her to change it to a legal separation. In 1995, Anna Stanley filed for divorce again, declaring formally that their 40-year marriage was irreparable.
Dr. Charles and Anna Stanley’s divorce proceedings generated a controversy within the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, where Charles was serving as senior pastor at the time the divorce petition was filed. Charles indicated in 1995 that he would instantly resign from his position within the church if his wife divorced him. Despite the divorce becoming final, Dr. Charles Stanley retained his position as the church’s senior pastor, as the congregation decided to retain him.
The divorce of Dr. Charles also produced a wedge between him and his son, Andy Stanley. Andy’s departure from the First Baptist Church was purportedly precipitated by his disagreement with his father’s handling to the divorce controversy, which reportedly led to the escalation of the conflict. In 1995, Andy Stanley established the North Point Community Church.