Salvation & Call to Ministry
Just how evil can a 13-year-old boy be? I mean, how much time had passed by in my life that would allow me to take part in deep sin? The extent of the disobedience in my life was not taking the trash out, cleaning my room, or not cutting the grass when my father told me. I went to Church with my mother on a regular basis. So, just how bad can a young boy of 13 be?
In addition to not having a wicked life, I could remember sitting across the desk from my pastor as a young boy with him staring at me with his beady eyes through thick blackrimmed glasses. The light was gleaming off of his baldhead while he shouted at me “are you saved Jeff”! In fear, I replied, “yes sir” and was promptly baptized. I was safe! I was a good kid that had been baptized, and I even had the blessings of a well-meaning preacher who had pronounced me “saved”. So again, just how bad could I have been? This was the question I would have to ask myself at an extremely honest moment while at Summer Camp. “How can I be bad or even lost?” I really did not know what “lost” meant. I had lost pets, keys, and even homework! But, what was being “lost” in the eyes of God? That was heavy stuff for a boy of 13 to process. Yet, that was exactly the conclusion that I had to come to when the camp preacher presented me with a Bible verse that proved “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” from Romans 3:23.
I had to ask myself, “so what?” What if I am short of God’s glory? What would happen to me? The preacher went on to explain that the Bible teaches in Romans 6:23 that being lost meant there is a death penalty for sin that must be paid. But, who would have to die? Me! It was at that point that I realized that I was and am personally responsible to God for my sin. Being a good kid or having the preachers’ affirmation would not make me better of pay for my sin! I believe the most wonderful thing I realized was that even though a penalty of death must be paid for my sin, I did not have to pay it because Jesus had already done so.
The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8 that God showed his love for us when Jesus died on the Cross even though we are sinners! Jesus had paid that death penalty for my sin, and I would not have to pay it myself. Yet, how could I apply this truth to my life? How could I move from being lost to being “saved”? And, exactly what does being “saved” mean? The most famous verse in the Bible is probably John 3:16. In it, we learn that God gave his Son, Jesus, so that whoever believes in Him should not “perish” or “die” for their sins! Furthermore, it teaches us that we can have eternal life; the opposite of the death penalty required by our sin. So, I concluded that being saved meant believing in Christ who had paid the penalty for my sin, with his very own death on the Cross.
But, how could I apply that to my life? The Bible teaches us in Romans 10 that we must believe and confess that God raised Christ from the dead in order to be saved. So, that very night I confessed my belief in Jesus and asked him to save me from my sins. I turned to Jesus! So, just how lost or evil could a good, red-blooded American kid be? In truth, it did not boil down to how good I was. I was lost because everyone is a sinner and is short of God’s glory; including me. The pronouncement of the preacher was not enough. The only thing that would save me was Jesus. I have to admit that I was not saved out of gross sin. But, my life could have ended up in gross sin if it had not been for the fact that Jesus saved me and now resides within me. Jesus took away the penalty of my sin, and placed me on a new path in my life.
I really like the way that 2nd Corinthians 5:14- 15 says it; “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” Today, my life is about living to please God. I could have ended up living a life of selfishness, wrapped up in my own desires, and looking for nothing but pleasure. But, God had a different purpose for me. Through salvation, I have an opportunity to please Him with everything that I do. Can you imagine that? We can actually Please God! How do we do this? We can do this by accepting Jesus as our savior through faith and embarking on the road to living for Him.
Call to Ministry
I surrendered to the call of God on my life to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world as a 15-year old young man. Though not audible, the call of God was clear and distinct in my life as I sat under the regular preaching of the Word of God by Dr. C. H. Couey in Homestead Florida. I am a firm believer that it is the Word of God that moves men and women into action for Him and I believe that God chose the foolishness of the preaching of His Word to confound the wise and move men to repentance. Thus, God used the preaching of His Word to burn into my soul a passion for Him and a desire to proclaim His name to those who have never heard and to those who are already his children.
This information is of course brief and excludes my wife, Sandra Price, who has a lot of wonderful things to offer. She is fully supportive and is my partner in life and Ministry. Together, we have served the Lord for over three decades and absolutely enjoy investing our lives in the people that the Lord honors us to work with. She is well educated and has tremendous ministry experience that she has garnered in a life of serving the Lord. She is a Godly woman who has worked as a professional specializing in marriage and family counseling. She is an excellent wife, mentor, and friend to all of the people in her life.
Salvation & Call to Missions
At Church, I was your typical bus kid. My pastor, Gene Wiggins, lived down the street from me, and his daughter had become my friend. My parents would attend, but only the main service, and I wanted to be part of all activities that took place at the church. So, on any given Sunday, I would ride the bus or with Pastor Wiggins and his family. Though I had made a profession of faith in Christ when I was eight years old and had been an active part of the youth ministry at church for many years, it wasn’t until my sophomore year in High School that I got saved.
I remember it clearly; it was on a Wednesday night in April of 1980 the week before Easter. I realized the profession of faith I made as an 8 year old was only that, just a profession. I said a prayer and had no idea of what it meant. So after church, I went to my youth pastor, Dave Cross, and told him I needed to be saved. The following Sunday night, which was Easter, I was baptized.
The church had Missionaries as guests on a regular basis. Shortly after I was saved, one such Missionary was in Church. While listening to his burden for his people and watching his slide presentation, I surrendered to full-time mission work. In the fall of 1982, I went to Baptist Bible College in Springfield and I enrolled in their missions program. While there, I was active in the drama ministry at school and participated in various ministries in my local church. In the second semester of my freshman year, I met Jeff Price, but that is another story.
Living Out Our Call as Missionaries
After we married in the summer of 1983, we spent some time in the military and had a family. We were active in our home church, Victory Baptist Church, and soon realized that God had never “uncalled” us to serve him as Missionaries. In the fall of 1994, with three kids in tow, we went back to BBC and finished what we had started all those years ago. Upon graduation in 1997, we served our Missions Internship at Victory Baptist Church in Anaheim California and were exposed to a pastor with a great missions heart who had previously served as a Missionary for ten years, Robert Knutson. While working in Anaheim, God led us to the field of American Samoa where we served for three years. In 2003, we went to Bolivia and served there for seven years.
We had the opportunity to work with the nationals in both countries in many different ways. For me; it was a life enriching experience, and I was honored to serve God on the Mission Field with my family. While serving in these countries, I have had the privilege in working with the women and children in several ministries. In addition to working in the Bible Institute, I organized and implemented several Children’s Club ministries and Women’s ministries in the churches in which we worked in Bolivia. Additionally, Since God called us both into Missionary service; I have had a vital role in working hand in hand with Jeff in other aspects of our ministries in both countries.
A Heart for Bolivia
Since leaving the field, Bolivia has never been far from my mind, and it has always been in my heart. When diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and going through the subsequent treatment, I walked away with the knowledge that no matter what time God has given me on this earth, I have to spend it pouring my life out as an offering to Him. Now that I am in remission and healthy, I recognize my heart is still there with Bolivians, and God has given me an even bigger burden than before to be on the field serving Him and them. I am honored to have the opportunity to return to Bolivia and I am committed to spending the rest of my life serving God and representing you among the people God has called us to reach.