Dr. Betty R. Price (Courtesy photo)

Living Legend Credits God and Faith For Coming This Far

In a commanding show of love, honor, and respect, 800 adoring church congregants and friends of Dr. Betty Ruth Price gathered on Friday, Feb. 9 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to celebrate her milestone 90th birthday with her on the actual day.

Thousands more sent cards, gifts of love, and extended birthday wishes via social media. The beloved co-founder of Crenshaw Christian Center and matriarch of the Price family radiated with joy, enthusiasm, and deep gratitude for the displays of affection.

The evening celebration included a very lively and often humorous mistress of ceremonies in vivacious daughter, Cheryl Price, who relayed fun facts about Dr. Betty’s life and its enduring impact.

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“Without Betty, there would be no Apostle Fred Price, no Crenshaw Christian Center, no us,” quipped Ms. Price. She continued that the thought of no Cheryl Price would be tragic for which the audience erupted with laughter. She then went on to tell the story of how God had a plan for this little girl from Gloster, Mississippi, who grew up poor as one of 13 children, but who loved God from a very young age.

Dr. Betty waves from her table. (Courtesy photo)

Betty’s tenacious desire to please God continued with her family’s move to Watts, California, and Dorsey High School where she met Fred Price. He was a senior and she was a sophomore. He was a handsome baseball player and popular with the girls, yet Betty expressed no outwardly interest in him in the manner in which others did.

After she graduated, Fred, who grew up in Santa Monica, happened upon her neighborhood while transporting a fellow baseball player home. He recognized her and asked for her number. Soon, the two began dating. He went to church with her on Sundays and ate dinners which included okra.

This period of blissful courtship resulted in marriage. After which, Fred proclaimed, “I’m not going to church anymore as I want to play baseball on Sundays, and I never want you to cook me okra again!”

Initially, Betty acquiesced, accompanying him to day games and attending church at night. Eventually surmising that this was foolish, she resumed her usual church service attendance without him. A tent meeting got him curious about happenings, so he followed her, and ended up fully submitting his life to the Lord and reaching millions around the globe for Christ. It all began with Betty.


Cheryl Price served as mistress of ceremonies. (Courtesy photo)

To experience Dr. Betty, who received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1992, is to encounter pure love. In a who’s who of the faith world, the celebration was filled with notables and pastors and their families who traveled from near and far. Several were part of the evening program and offered heartfelt remarks of what Dr. Betty has meant to them, the Body of Christ, and the world at-large.

They included Drs. Mike and Dee Dee Freeman, Drs. Phil and Brenda Goudeaux, Bishop Charles and Lady Mae Blake, Apostle Beverly “BAM” Crawford, Dr. Jerry Savelle, Dr. Creflo and Pastor Taffi Dollar, and Dr. Billy Wilson who proclaimed that Dr. Betty should be known as “Saint Betty!”

A well-received mini concert by gospel recording artist Erica Campbell and video tributes from Kenneth and Lynette Hagin, and Casey and Wendy Treat rounded out the accolades. Two spectacular videos titled “Betty Price” and “Fred & Betty” offered an intimate look into the life of Dr. Betty through the years, and precious memories with her beloved husband, Fred.

Hundreds of people attended Dr. Betty’s 90th birthday celebration. (Courtesy photo)

For their part, the entire Price family — children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren – paid homage to their loving, shared-with-the-world, mother, noting the fact that her love is so big that she has more than enough for everyone and that they’ve never felt overlooked or unimportant. Each articulated brief remarks from the stage, with all professing their love and gratitude and each one placing self-penned letters of affection into a legacy box for Dr. Betty.

Known as the consummate giver whose faith is firmly planted in the Lord as her source, Dr. Betty is a continual giver. Apostle Crawford remarked, “Dr. Betty just can’t help herself. If she has something to give, she is going to give it away.”

Giving and blessing others is her favorite thing to do. In her 50 years of ministry, she has given in myriad ways — launching programs to strengthen the South Los Angeles community where the church resides. She has birthed many service programs, including Vermont Village Community Development Corporation which aids previously incarcerated and human trafficked individuals, an alcohol and drug abuse recovery program, counseling services, and she continues to lead a weekly, in-person bible study at a downtown LA women’s substance abuse shelter, among other activities.

This living legend and original Sheroe is the author of several books and a noted supreme example of a first lady and one navigating life’s uncertainties with grace and faith activated. Her victory over cancer, the loss of a child, loss of her husband of nearly seven decades, and other unfortunate realities make her a sought-after speaker and advisor.

When Dr. Betty took to the stage in her regal yellow gown, she thanked everyone for celebrating her birthday and commented on her life trajectory, reminding all that God is no respecter of persons — that “what He does for one, He will do for all.”

Dr. Betty shared remarks with the attendees. (Courtesy photo)

She shared that growing up poor, she never had a birthday party. In fact, her first party was when she turned 50 and ladies in the church gave her one.

“I’m grateful to God for this beautiful life He has given me. He brought me out of poverty to wealth, out of sickness to health,” remarked Dr. Betty. She remained into the early hours of the next day to greet guests and take pictures with them.

Sunday Service brought its own festivities, which for a brief time, may be viewed at youtube.com/eifministries. This includes the special Betty Price video from her birthday celebration.