For decades, Crenshaw Christian Center (CCC) was synonymous with Apostle Frederick K.C. Price, the legendary founder and pastor of the world-renowned ministry.
Now, as CCC approaches its 44th year, another Price is the head shepherd– Frederick Kenneth, Jr. – who aims to build on the legacy of his father to take the church to the next level.
“My father is a trailblazer for many black ministers and Christian centers, what we’ve come to know as mega-churches. So for me to do the same thing, I don’t see that happening or being the case,” said Price Jr.
“I believe I’m going to do something different and all I have to do is stand on his shoulders and if I stand on his shoulders, I can see much further than he did. He laid the foundation, so I don’t need to lay a new foundation. I just need to build on his.”
His dream for CCC, said Price Jr., is a facility fully-involved with the surrounding community. Located in South Los Angeles, the church sits on 32 acres in the city’s Vermont Knolls district. Its beautifully landscaped grounds contain several buildings, the Frederick K.C. Price III schools, a basketball court and the massive Faithdome sanctuary.
In addition to ministry-related activities, the sprawling campus is often the site of community events such as town halls, health fairs, senior citizen fellowships and LAPD/LAFD recruitment drives. Also, on Feb. 12, Price, Jr. and a group of members hit the streets for a Valentine’s Day Outreach where they delivered valentine-grams and prayer to people living near CCC. However, Price Jr. want to increase the contact with his neighbors even more.
“I see this ministry as a hub and epicenter for the surrounding community which I’d like to engage more than Crenshaw Christian Center ever engaged. I want our community efforts to be 24/7. Ministering to the poor, the poor saints specifically, also what the Bible calls the strangers, bring them into the fold, tending to the orphans and widows – those are the kinds of things I’d like this church to be known for,” explained Price Jr.
“It’s already known as a teaching ministry. That will never change. But I believe, during my time, these added elements will be the next legacy of Crenshaw Christian Center.”
Displaying confidence and humility, Price Jr. has been working towards realizing his vision of CCC since being appointed pastor in March 2009. Previously, he served six years on the ministerial staff after being licensed and ordained in 2002 and 2003, respectively.
It was during his on-the-job training that he discovered his great affinity for helping people. He described visiting the sick, counseling the troubled, and teaching the word of God as “probably the most fulfilling aspects of what I do.”
But life as a pastor is not without trials and in Price Jr.’s case, attracting his own generation is one of his bigger tests. As a millennial, he wants more of his peers to accept Christ, yet he doesn’t want to alienate the baby boomers that comprise a large part of his congregation.
Acknowledging the solution is not easy, he noted, “Bringing them all in – Gen X, millennials, iGens that follow the millennials, boomers - that’s been tough. I want a bridge between [baby boomers] and my generation so that we can work together. [Building] that bridge has probably been the biggest challenge.”
Price Jr., who also wants to reach out to Latinos in the area, added, “Our congregation is predominately black. Our community has a Hispanic presence, but they are not so present in the ministry. I think those barriers can be removed so that they are a part of this ministry. I believe us engaging them is how we would win them into Crenshaw Christian Center.”
While pursuing his vision for CCC consumes a lot of his time, it is not Price Jr.’s top priority. As a man of faith, he counts God, his wife, Angel, and his three children as coming before the ministry. He learned the “family first” attitude from his parents, Apostle Frederick and Dr. Betty Price, who raised four children as they built an international church. The Price siblings are also actively involved in the CCC ministry.
Price Jr. holds other interests as well. He loves history – African American and other cultures, too – and admits to being a “geek.”
“There’s a difference between a nerd and a geek,” he said with a smile. “I’m a comic guy – Marvel and DC. I love science fiction and fantasy. I am a writer and an avid reader. Also, I like Jordan’s (shoes), I still watch cartoons with my kids and I love sports. I am an L.A. boy, so I support my L.A. teams.”
Still, his dream for CCC is never far away and Price Jr. gives every indication of making it come true.
“The vision of CCC is to teach the word of God to the saints but in the process of doing that, part of our mission is engaging the culture, creating disciples of Christ, utilizing and maximizing technology to its fullest and I want to breed and create individuals in the vein of my father,” he said.
“I believe he drew and attracted men who wanted to be somewhat like him or saw something in him that they wanted to replicate and I want to continue that replication process.”
Crenshaw Christian Center is located at 7901 S. Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. To learn more, visit crenshawchristiancenter.net