"The Full Gospel"
Sydney Price was born to Mary Hannah Bee and Charles Henry Price in England
in 1887. His mother died when he was four and his father later remarried
a woman that Charles loved and respected. Price attended the local grade
through high school for Methodist scholars from about 1899-1904. Although
it was known as Wesley College it only kept students until they were 18
in preparation for possible attendance to London University. Struggling
with what to do after leaving Wesley, Price joined the Royal Navy in 1906
as assistant warehouseman, but was discharged within a couple of months
due to a bad knee. He would later say he went to Oxford Law School for
a time, but Oxford has no record of his attendance. In 1907 Price immigrated
to Canada in search of work and ended up on a railroad crew. He then moved
to Spokane, Washington hoping to find work there. He went to a church
service at a Free Methodist Mission and was converted. He decided to stay
with the mission as a worker and was ordained a Methodist minister that
same year. He also met and married Bessie Rae Osborn. The couple would
go on to have 4 children of their own and one daughter from England.
came under the influence of "modernistic" or liberal theology.
The teachings included the lack of belief in the bible as the Word of
God, and a repudiation of the miraculous. He left the Methodist church
and became Congregationalist pastor. Later he would describe this period
of his life as one who was 'spiritually blind, leading his people into
a ditch'. He pastored this way for twelve years. Price
moved to California where he was pastor of the First Congregational Church
of Lodi. In 1921 there was a revival being led by Aimee Semple McPherson
in San Jose, California. One of the members of his church told him about
how he had gone to the revival and had the experience of being filled
with the Holy Spirit. Soon this began to spread through other members
of his church as well. He went to the meetings to gather evidence to teach
against this doctrine. Instead he came under great conviction about his
own emptiness. On the third night he was seated on the platform with other
pastors. When the alter call came for sinners to be saved, Price publicly
responded. He was filled with joy. He attended some "tarrying meetings"
a Baptist church and received the "filling of the Spirit" a
few nights later, and began to speak "with other tongues".
returned to his church and gave his testimony. 1000 members began to hold
seekers meetings crying out to God for His presence. A revival was begun.
One of the outcomes was that 1000 members of the church started evangelistic
outreaches. Price began to see people healed in his meetings. Denominational
leaders criticized what was happening in his church. Price left the Congregationalists
to begin Lodi Bethel Temple. In 1922 he began to hold itinerant evangelistic
meetings in Oregon and British Columbia. There were some very miraculous
healings in Victoria, British Columbia. In 1923 Price preached to over
250,000 people in a three-week period and many were healed. In 1923 he
held a healing meeting where Lorne Fox and
his entire family were healed. Lorne and his sister began their own evangelistic
and healing ministry shortly afterwards.
Price held meetings
in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Minneapolis, Duluth, St Louis
and Belleville, Illinois. In 1926 Price started publishing the "Golden
Grain" periodical, which included many testimonies of healings and
miracles. In 1928 Price suffered a blow when his lawyer absconded with
all his funds. His supporters helped to raise some of the money, but he
decided to purchase a tent to hold meetings, so that he no longer had
to pay large auditorium expenses. He called it the Kanvas Katherdral.
It's reported there were 1000 conversions a day the last 10 days of the
Belleville meetings. He continued to travel through the northwest over
the next several years. Everywhere he went he saw miraculous healings
in his meetings and thousands came to Christ. He counted 35,000 conversions
in 1928 alone. The constant traveling put a strain on his marriage. By
1930 he and his wife separated. They eventually divorced in the 1930s.
While many ministries
shut down or were severely curtailed during the 1930's, due to the depression,
Charles S. Price continued to draw thousands to his meetings. In the late
1930s he ministered in Norway, England, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, Syria,
Lebanon, Italy, as well as continuing to speak throughout the US. He started
to refer to himself as Dr. Price, which appears to have been an honorary
title rather than an educational one. In 1939 Price estimated that he
had traveled over a million miles on evangelistic campaigns since he began
in 1922. His schedule was demanding. At meetings where he was the main
speaker he would speak two or three times a day and often pray for healing
well into the night. During the war years it was increasingly difficult
to draw large crowds and Price often spoke in churches and camp meetings.
In 1940 between mid-March and mid-August he preached 218 times besides
holding 35 healing services, stayed late hours praying for the sick, gave
several community speeches to groups like the Rotary Club, did radio addresses,
all this while traveling 2700 miles by train and 8500 miles by car. In
one day alone he spoke 5 times in Springfield, Missouri.
Price was not
affiliated with a particular denomination and his meetings were often
supported by multiple churches within an area. He had a special relationship
with the Assembly of God denominational leadership and regularly spoke
at their camp meetings and was often invited to speak in their churches.
He was a prolific writer. He wrote several books including: And Signs
Followed the Life Story of Charles S. Price, The Potter and the
Clay, Spiritual and Physical Health, Made Alive, Two Worlds, The Real
Faith, You Can Know God Here and Now, Divine Intervention, and Miracles
besides producing his Golden Grain Magazine from 1926 to 1947. He used
radio extensively and often preached from Los Angeles, California when
he was not on the road. He also taught at the Southern California Bible
College and was often asked to fill in for pastors in the Los Angeles
area. In 1945 he felt that the Lord was calling him to spend time at home.
The next two years were focused on writing, preaching locally, and in
rest and prayer. He died March 8, 1947.
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