Baptist dating old regular service
Churchgoers wait outside the entrance to First Baptist Church Atlanta on a recent Sunday morning. The children's area at Andy Stanley's North Point Community Church.
Charles Stanley cries as First Baptist Church Atlanta members honor him for his 80th birthday, while his only son, Andy, stands at his side.
To honor his father that day, Andy did something remarkable when he walked onstage to preach -- he wore a suit and tie.
Charles Stanley took over the First Baptist Church Atlanta after a vicious internal battle that culminated in a man assaulting Stanley.
The church, pictured here, is now one of the largest Baptist churches in the nation, with an estimated 15,000 members.
The congregation cheered when Andy pointed to his tie.
Chairs fill the large main sanctuary at North Point Community Church, where Andy Stanley is the senior pastor.
The church helped pioneer a new way of worshipping that used contemporary Christian music, stage lights, video skits and visual props during sermons. The church is Southern Baptist but its appeal transcends denominational and racial lines.
Each child carried one book representing the 45 books written by Stanley during his career.
They placed the book on a shelf in front of the sanctuary.
Andy Stanley confers with his father, Charles, at First Baptist Church Atlanta, while Andy's son, Garrett, and his nephew, Matthew, wait on the side.Andy's birthday tribute to his father that afternoon would bring the elder Stanley to tears.