Following a new path

September 04, 2003

Michele Marr

Religious Science is about changing your life by changing your

thoughts. But when Peggy Price first walked into the Huntington Beach

church one Sunday in February 1986, she could hardly have imagined

the direction it would take her life.

Price was going through her third divorce. She had had two brief

marriages, each lasting less than a year. Then she married again. And


though the marriage was turbulent, it lasted more than 15 years. Then

her husband walked out, leaving her with four children, including two

sons from her husband's previous marriage, and lots of unpaid bills.

"I didn't see much hope for myself for the future," she said.

On that February morning at the Huntington Beach Church of

Religious Science the Rev. Peggy Bassett's message moved her to

tears. Bassett, Price discovered, had been married more times than

she had been.

"She put me in touch with something so important; that God loves

us though everything no matter what, that I could be loved and

accepted in spite of my failings," said Price. "It was that that gave

me a new life."

Price began to take all the classes the church offered and went to

every workshop she could. At one class, she met Don Price, a

detective with the Fullerton Police Department, whom she married a

few months later in January 1987. To her family of two sons and two

daughters, Don added his son and daughter and the new family moved to

a home in Huntington Beach.

By 1990, Peggy Price was taking classes to become a licensed

Religious Science Practitioner, a spiritual counselor and coach. As a

young girl she had talked about becoming a minister and now she found

"It was a dream that had never left me."

She began studying at the Ernest Holmes College School of Ministry

in 1993, taking a full load of classes for three years to graduate.

While still in school, Price was hired by the Huntington Beach church

to be an assistant to the minister. Upon graduation, she was given a

Letter of Call to become its assistant minister.

The church's longtime senior minister, Peggy Bassett, had become

gravely ill and died. The church had had a series of short-term

senior ministers after her death, including the Rev. Mary Murray

Shelton who was there for three years before a serious back injury

left her unable to work.

When Shelton left, Price became the church's acting senior

minister then she was hired and installed as its full-time senior

minister in May 1998. In May 1999, she was ordained.

The church was in a state of enormous change.

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