Edward Price-Stephens: 1922-2013
Ted Stephens as he was usually known was born on 24 March, 1922 at Caergorlan, Abercarn, Monmouthshire, He was sent to an Anglican Sunday School but a neighbour suggested that he should go instead to the Sunday School at Caergorlan Baptist Chapel, While serving in the RAF he was converted through reading Robert Laidlaw’s evangelistic booklet The Reason Why, which he found on the literature table of a canteen run by the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Christian Association. A RAF sergeant later said to Laidlaw. ‘I was stationed in Edinburgh with Ted Stephens for a year, and I have never known anyone in my life so courageous in his witness and so on fire for God.’
After the war Ted applied to South Wales Baptist College for training but, as the College was full, he became a student at the South Wales Bible College. After completing his course he engaged in evangelistic work in North Wales and then in Scotland with the Faith Mission. He returned to Abercarn to work in a local factory and to study by correspondence for the Baptist Union of Wales Examinations. He was recognized as a Preacher of the Monmouthshire Baptist Association and he married Cynthia Elizabeth Knott on 31 March 1956. She was a gifted preacher and she shared fully in his ministry, especially among young people, until her death at the age of seventy nine on 25 November 2007.
In 1958 Ted was called to the pastorate of Kerry and New Wells Baptist Churches, Montgomeryshire, and was ordained at Kerry on 23 November 1958. In 1972 he became minister of Presteigne, Stansbatch and Bleddfa in Radnorshire. His final pastorate from 1977-1987 was at Dawley, Shropshire, where the church was facing the challenge of the creation of the new town of Telford. The chapel was in a poor state of repair and he immediately organized a massive refurbishment of the premises. He was strong physically and played a full part in the renovations. He is remembered as an extremely hard worker, who was meticulous in preparing Bible studies.
On his retirement Ted returned to Kerry to live in the manse and, although he was not formally inducted to the pastorate, he was regarded as the church’s minister. He provided pastoral oversight for the church from 1987 until 2005. The church marked the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination by the purchase of a King James Version Bible for pulpit use. He and his wife often preached at Zion, Newtown, and gave to this church invaluable support. Until well into his late eighties he helped with the maintenance of its fabric. He played too a significant role in the life of the Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire Baptist Association, serving twice as President.
Ted spent his last days in Plas Cae Crwn Residential Care Home, Newtown, and he passed away peacefully on Sunday, 6 January, 2013. He and his wife had no children but many came to faith through their ministry. The churches of Mid Wales and Shropshire thank God for the faithful service of Edward and Cynthia Price-Stephens.