Stephen Strang: My Personal Tribute to Apostle Fred Price

Cover of the May 1985 issue of "Charisma" magazine (Charisma Media Archives)

I am grieving over the death of my longtime friend Frederick K.C. Price, who was one of the greatest men I have ever interviewed. Called "Apostle," he began one of the best-known Christian TV programs—Ever Increasing Faith—and built the 10,000-seat FaithDome in Los Angeles. He died in February at age 89, sadly due to complications of the coronavirus.

When I called his daughter Angela Evans to offer my condolences, I asked if she would do a Strang Report podcast. I wanted her perspective as a member of the family on her father's life and legacy. It was one of the best podcasts I've done. We laughed, we cried and in our own way we said how much he meant to us. You can listen to it here.

I just finished my column for the April issue of Charisma, which goes to press today. I wanted to give new readers a perspective on this great man of God. I told how I'd seen Price on TV in the early 1980s, then attended a leaders' meeting where I got to know more about him as I listened to him talk openly about the issues being dealt with. I was barely 30 and eager to learn, so I went to him privately and asked him questions. He took time to have a cup of coffee with me and told me his story: He started with nothing except lots of debt and had very little success in the ministry. His ministry was transformed after someone gave him books by John Sherrill, John Osteen and Don Basham.

Price saw he needed to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but he also saw that many who had done so were negative and lacked power in their lives. He felt there had to be something else that was the missing ingredient to putting the Holy Spirit's power into action. Kenneth Hagin's The Authority of the Believer opened his eyes. The key was faith. It was like the transmission to a beautiful car, he told me, that wouldn't run without it.

A year later I flew to Los Angeles, where I spent time with Price and his lovely wife, Betty. I attended their burgeoning church on Crenshaw Avenue when they were just talking about building the FaithDome. The result was a Charisma cover story in May 1985 called "The Ever Increasing Faith of Fred Price." In my career I've interviewed and written about many great Christian leaders from Kathryn Kuhlman to Oral Roberts to Reinhard Bonnke to T.D. Jakes. To me Fred Price was a giant among giants. His passing leaves a great hole in the body of Christ, but he also leaves a great legacy of faith and integrity.

When I learned Price had died, I looked up that old article in our archives. I was fascinated with how the article written about him 36 years ago seems relevant today. After I reached out to his daughter Angela Evans, now CEO of her father's ministry, to offer my condolences, I sent her a copy because she said she wanted to read it again. Her reaction: Her daddy was "the same yesterday, today and forever." That was my reaction too. Price was always the same, never wavering, not prideful like so many ministers who have great success. More focused on teaching the Word than in raising money. One point I made in the 1985 article was how little actual fundraising he did. I urge you to read that article here.

I also found a 1998 editorial called "Let's Join Fred Price's Crusade." At the time a controversy was swirling over a leading charismatic ministry that taught in their church that it was better if people dated only those of their own race. The Bible clearly says the only restriction on marriage is to marry only a fellow believer. I also believe—like my friend Dr. Alveda King—that there is only one race, the human race.

Even though no one defended the ministry that criticized interracial dating, few were speaking up in support of Fred Price, who was taking enormous heat. To his credit he went to that ministry behind the scenes, but they wouldn't issue a public apology. So Price did what Scripture commands—he "went to the church" by having a lengthy sermon series about race and religion on his TV program.

I wrote my editorial in this time frame because I wanted the charismatic community to know I supported Price. I wrote that Christians should be bolder than anyone else to oppose racism. That's especially true of us from the Pentecostal tradition, which came out of the Azusa Street revival, led by a Black man, William Seymour. (I'm talking about real racism, not the way the Left throws around the word to apply to anyone who doesn't agree with their politically correct views.)

I wrote: "The issue to me is that most white Christians don't care. And few white leaders are speaking up. Why must a black man—Fred Price—be the one to speak up on television, while white preachers talk instead about the Second Coming or how to get out of debt?"

On my Strang Report podcast, his daughter Angela and I talked about not only the millions who watched on television or the tens of thousands who attended his church, but also the many ministers he influenced, not only teaching and training them on faith or how to pastor, but more importantly providing a role model of integrity. To me, that integrity and the fact that he finished strong will be his greatest legacy.

He greatly influenced me personally. I honor him, and I grieve his loss even though we know he's with the Jesus he loved.

Listen to the entire episode of the Strang Report podcast with Angela Price Evans here, and be sure to share it with friends who may also have loved Dr. Fred Price and his ministry. Subscribe to the Strang Report podcast on Apple Podcasts or your favorite platform.

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