Rev. Charles Stanley Stopford

September 28, 1940October 12, 2012

STOPFORD, REV. CHARLES, age 72, passed away on October 12, 2012. Encourager, Counselor, Teacher, Preacher, Leader, Comforter: Charles died as he lived - with great strength and faith, embraced by the love of his family at his bedside. Challenged by Muscular Dystrophy (SMA) as a young adult, he never let his wheelchair keep him from his Calling in the life of the Church. Challenged again when diagnosed in June with pancreatic cancer, his courage and faith inspired and sustained those who walked this difficult final journey with him. Born in Woonsocket, RI, Charles grew up in Orlando, was a graduate of Rollins College, and earned his Master of Divinity cum laude from Emory University Candler School of Theology. He served United Methodist churches in North Georgia and Florida, retiring in 2000 as the Church Administrator and Program Director at First United Methodist Church, Orlando. Prior to his career in Ministry, Charles served in the U.S. Coast Guard and was employed as a chemical engineer. Charles was a beloved teacher, biblical scholar and spiritual mentor who touched many lives with wisdom, gentleness, and compassion. He taught Christian Discipleship and Theology and Church History to numerous groups within the church. The Women's Bible Study group was blessed by his leadership and teaching for the past twenty-four years. He served on the UMC Florida Conference Finance Committee and the Central Florida Wesley Foundation, and was an officer in the Southeastern Jurisdiction UMC Church Administrator's group. Charles was always forward-thinking: he developed the first church website in the Florida Conference by working with students from UCF and learning HTML code. When the Church undertook a year-long Bible study spanning Genesis through Revelation, Charles wrote a daily e-mail commentary which deepened the congregation's journey through the scriptures. He served as the church webmaster until 2011, and continued his teaching in the church long after formally retiring. Charles is survived by his loving wife Phyllis of 32 years and a wonderful blended family: sons Chris, Eric, Wesley, Kevin, Brian, Aaron, and Tim; daughters Rebecca Davis (Tony) and Rachel Gandee (Shawn); stepson Dr. Thomas Land and stepdaughter Deborah Mitchell (Charlie); twenty-seven grandchildren who loved their Papa, and two great-grandchildren; a brother, Robert Stopford (Janet), and sisters Mary Long (David) and Karen Stopford. A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 20, at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Orlando. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the First United Methodist Church of Orlando in memory of Charles. Services entrusted to the care of Carey Hand Colonial Funeral Home, Orlando. 407.898.2561.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, October 20, 2012


Rev. Charles Stanley Stopford

have a memory or condolence to add?


October 25, 2012

dear Phyllis,
Cousin Mavis sent me the notice with the sad news. I am so happy to have met you and Cousin Charles, and have the Internet to thank along with the trip North that you RhodeIsland.
Our prayers are with you and your family.
cousin John Burrows

Marilyn Crocker

October 19, 2012

Dear Phyllis, We just learned from our former neighbor in Winter Park of Charles' passing. Although our face-to-face connections of late have been too few, Charles is oft' quoted and recalled with deep respect and fondness in our family. His spirit strength and profound wisdom will continue to encourage and inspire us. Much love to you and the family, Marilyn and Joe

Tinisha Jones

October 17, 2012

My thoughts and prayers are with you

Deborah Wamsley

October 17, 2012

My prayers for you and your family, Phyllis, at this time. Your marriage was a testimony to many. I cannot imagine how you feel but I do know that because you both know and love the Lord and believe His promises that you can take comfort in His arms and strength. You will see Charles again. Love you my friend.

October 16, 2012

My prayers are with you.
Nancy Bauer Master Gardener

Joe Hegedus

October 16, 2012

I pray the love of God enfolds you during your journey through grief. I send you thoughts of comfort. I lost my Amile 1 1/2 yeas ago after years of suffering with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Joe Hegedus, Master Gardener in Training.

October 16, 2012

Phyllis, Debbie and Tommie
May God Bless you in your time of sorrow;
I think of you often
Hettie Bass

Pat Fowler

October 16, 2012

Such a wonderful, honorable and loving testimony to Charles. To be absent from the body is to be present with The Lord. Thank God for His promises that we will see our loved ones again when we are called home by Him. Praying daily for your strength and comfort. What a true blessing it is to have such a huge family and friend support and comfort for you. I know there will be such a huge void in your heart and life that could only be filled with more of God's presence and your sweet loving memories.

Karrie Northup

October 16, 2012

Phyllis, Debbie & Family,
May God Bless you all wrap you tighly in his arms during this difficult time. Charles and I had some wonderful, enlightening Facebook chats. He was an incredible man! Peace.

David Hunter

October 15, 2012

Our condolences to the Stopford family for your loss. Charles was always kind, understanding and giving to us. He stood as a great example of what a good Christian man should exude and we were lucky to have such a wonderful example when we were young adults! God Bless!