A well-known US televangelist has passed from Covid-19 complications. Pastor Frederick K.C. Price, who founded the 28,000-strong Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles, was reportedly thought to be battling heart, lung and kidney issues after being hospitalized with the virus.
Price was born in 1932 in Santa Monica, California, a Los Angeles suburb, the eldest son of Winifred and Frederick Price, Sr., who owned a janitorial service in West Los Angeles. Frederick attended McKinley Elementary School in Santa Monica, Foshay Junior High, Manual Arts High School and Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, and then completed two years of schooling at Los Angeles City College. He later received an honorary diploma from the Rhema Bible Training Center (1976) and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Oral Roberts University (1982).
Both of his parents, who had once been practicing Jehovah's Witnesses at the time he met his future wife Betty, had stopped practicing the religion, and were also outspoken against all organized religions. While courting Betty, his high school sweetheart, he began attending church services with her. However, after their marriage, he stopped attending church regularly until a group of Los Angeles-area churches began sponsoring a week of old-fashioned tent revivals in the Crenshaw area. Price began attending these services with his wife. At one of these services, he received Jesus Christ as his personal savior. Soon after becoming born again, Price felt the call from God to go into the ministry, serving mostly part-time, while working as a paper cutter, as an assistant pastor in a Baptist church from 1955 to 1957. He then pastored an African Methodist Episcopal church in Val Verde, California from 1957 to 1959. From there he served in a Presbyterian church and then joined the Christian and Missionary Alliance at West Washington Community Church in 1965.
In February 1970, Price received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of "speaking in tongues," an event which he considered the starting point in his own ministry. Shortly thereafter, he encountered the Bible-teaching ministry of late preacher/televangelist Kenneth E. Hagin. Price joined the neo-charismatic movement, affiliating with Word of Faith, and began to teach the messages on speaking in tongues, divine healing, and prosperity teachings. He and his wife Betty co-founded the Crenshaw Christian Center that same year in the Crenshaw section of West Los Angeles, California.
Thus, in November 1973, Price moved with about 300 church members from West Washington in Los Angeles in order to establish the Crenshaw Christian Center in Inglewood, California. Membership continued to grow, and in 1977 the church was forced to hold two services, with another service added in 1982, because the 1,400-seat sanctuary was always filled to capacity. In 1981, the church bought the old Pepperdine University campus. After the purchase, Price oversaw construction of a new sanctuary, called the "FaithDome", which at the time was the largest domed church in the United States.
Ground was broken for the FaithDome on September 28, 1986, and construction began on January 5, 1987. Construction was completed in 1989 on the 10,146-seat dome at a cost of more than $10 million. At the time of its dedication on January 21, 1990, the dome and the church's property were both fully paid for, leaving the ministry debt-free.
Price leaves to mourn his wife, the former Betty Ruth Scott, whom he met while attending Dorsey High School, since 1953; Four children, ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.