Robert Earl Price, Baptist minister and community leader, son of Harrison Price and Katie Savannah (Davis) Price, was born in Smithville, Texas, on January 26, 1932. He was the second youngest in a family of eleven children. As a boy he regularly practiced helping those within his community, and as a high school student he was introduced to the ministry by assisting local pastors.
In the 1950s he attended Prairie View A&M College (now Prairie View A&M University) where he studied agriculture and mathematics. While at Prairie View, he met his wife, Deloris Brashear Price, whom he married in 1955. He later joined the United States Army and worked with the army chaplains. After being honorably discharged, he attended Bishop College and began assisting a pastor at Keller Springs Baptist Church before leading his own congregation.
In 1969 Price became the pastor of New Mount Zion Baptist Church of Dallas. When Price’s pastorate began, the church had twenty members. During his tenure, the church grew to more than 2,500 members and implemented “25 religious, educational, business, and technological ministries to meet the needs of all the members.” The church also implemented a day care that served as many as 110 families and a credit union that served 700 members within the church and the surrounding community. Price supervised over twenty-five ministers who were part of his ministerial team and led the church in their creation of a food bank and youth center. He led the church from its original location on Coit Road to its facility on Shepherd Road.
During most of his time at Mount Zion, Price maintained a day job. He worked for Lomas and Nettleton Mortgage Banking Corporation for twenty-eight years and earned the position of vice president before retiring.
Price was a founding member of Hamilton Park, the historic black neighborhood established in the 1950s that housed some of Dallas’s leading civic and professional leaders. He lived within the community for more than forty years and assisted with the implementation of the Hamilton Park Pacesetter School and the Richardson and Dallas Independent School districts. In 2007 U.S. Representative Pete Sessions of Dallas sponsored legislation that named a post office after Price. The Robert E. Price Post Office is located on Forest Lane, a major street in North Dallas that is near the church where Price served as pastor.
The post office named in his honor was one example of many honors Price received during his lifetime. Saint Thomas Christian College awarded Price a doctor of divinity degree in 2003. In 2007 he received the Human Relations Award from the Dallas Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, and in 2008 the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce gave him the Thomas L. Houston Community Service Award. In 2010 the Dallas Morning News awarded Price with the Living Legend Award. That same year, Prairie View A&M University awarded him with the Scholarship Gala Appreciation Award for Service Rendered.
Price died at his home on July 14, 2012. Until his death, he was an active pastor and member of his community. To mourn him, he left his wife, Delores, and their three children: Robert Price, Jr.; Patricia Hicks; and Lisa Rausaw. Price also left three grandchildren and three great grandchildren. His funeral service was filled to capacity within the New Mount Zion sanctuary. Numerous dignitaries and community leaders made comments and sent resolutions that testified to the significant impact Price had within his community. He was buried in Restland Memorial Park in Dallas.