Through the death of a child, a challenging bout with cancer, and the loss of her husband of 69 years to COVID-19, Dr. Betty R. Price has always turned to the same place for solace and strength: the Word of God.
“There is a scripture for every situation in life,” says the steadfast former first lady of Crenshaw Christian Center (CCC). “God has something to say about everything under the sun.”
Hebrews 10:23, John 3:15 and Mark 11:24 are among the Bible passages that roll off her tongue with ease, bringing peace and purpose to her life. These passages speak to God’s promise to those who are faithful, while affirming the wonderworking power of prayer.
Dr. Betty, as she is lovingly known, says she prays throughout the day. Bedtime finds her reciting a longer prayer in which she appeals for the safety, happiness and prosperity of her family, her church, church leaders, world leaders, and more.
“God lives inside of me,” she says with a zeal that belies her years. Her 89th birthday is February 9. “God is alive – powerful and sharper than any two-edge sword.”
Befitting words coming from a God-fearing woman who, herself, possesses a sword-like sharpness of conviction. Dr. Betty easily recalls stories from years of studying and sharing the Word with people around the world. An author, speaker and evangelist, she has come this far by faith, continuing to fight the good fight with grace and humility.
“It is so exciting when your prayers are answered,” she says. “It doesn’t always happen immediately. It took a year and a half for my prayers regarding a cancer challenge to be answered, but I never stopped praying and believing. You have to believe before you receive. The minute you pray, you have to believe what you are praying for will be.”
After two years of streaming church services from home due to the recent pandemic lockdowns, Dr. Betty is thrilled to be back in the sanctuary that she and her pioneering husband, the late Apostle Frederick K.C. Price, built. She also attends weekly Bible study and works in the church office twice a week.
“I am thankful we had the technology to keep church going, but there is no substitute for fellowship, for coming together,” Dr. Betty says. “How can you be a blessing to others – how can you know their needs – if you don’t see them and talk to them?”
Crenshaw Christian’s 14,000-member ministry is currently shepherded both in-person and online by Dr. Betty’s youngest child, Dr. Frederick K. Price. “I am so proud and thankful our son was anointed,” she says, beaming with a mother’s pride. “There is no more important work he could be doing than God’s work.”
Dr. Betty’s son is not the only Price family member who has made Crenshaw Christian Center their life’s work. In her role as president of CCC, daughter Angela Price Evans supervises day-to-day operations for the massive ministry. Daughters Stephanie Price Buchanan and Cheryl Ann Price have also worked behind the scenes to keep the ministry on track, making Crenshaw Christian Center a family affair in the best and truest sense of the phrase.
With her flawless complexion and radiant smile, Dr. Betty embodies the joy she believes comes from knowing God and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Her unflagging love for the Lord and her empathy for people are palpable. However, she confesses to having a deep-felt compassion for those facing hardships. As such, the mother of four, grandmother of 10, and great-grandmother of six expresses a profound affinity for the most vulnerable among us – children and the homeless.
“I do not like to see suffering, yet there is so much all around,” she says. “I want to give until I don’t have anything to give, and then I know God will provide.”
As she approaches her 90s, she wishes to continue doing what she has done her entire life – exalting the Lord through devout words and humane, merciful deeds. “They won’t let me retire and I don’t want to,” she laughs.
“My goals are simple,” she continues with a youthful sparkle in her eyes. “I want to stay with God; cast all my cares upon him and continue to help people.
“I have everything I could ever need or want,” Dr. Betty proclaims with a spirit of gratitude. “I have had a wonderful life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I want that for my family, our church and God’s people. What could any of us want more than the peace of God?”
Over the years Dr. Betty has received numerous awards and commendations from local, state and federal government entities for her community service work, including “Woman of the Year” from the Los Angeles County Commission for Women in the Second District.
She is the author of six books and a mentor to many.