Honoring Influences That Change Our Lives

When I arrived on campus as a freshman in 1984, there were several new faculty members. Among them were Terry and Colene Price, who had recently come to Maranatha from their alma mater Pillsbury Baptist Bible College. They immediately had an impact on my life, as he was my Bible Survey teacher and she was my Fundamentals of Speech and Storytelling teacher. As I sat down with the Prices for this interview, Colene mentioned that her Storytelling class was probably the class that most impacted her students’ lives. The Prices’ impact has been much broader than one class. They have influenced many lives through their teaching, but even more through their personal testimony and example. The first years were busy ones for the Prices as they juggled coaching, drama, 1994 Prices and puppetsteaching, and raising three teenage boys. Those times created many of their fondest memories—from having family devotions in Terry’s office to doing crazy things to be able to attend both Academy and College football games in the same weekend. Colene recalls one Friday when the Academy was in Hammond, IN. After an exciting victory, the family drove all the way to New Ulm, MN, to join Terry at the College game on Saturday. Other fond memories include the many opportunities the Lord gave them to serve together as a family, traveling to Bible Camps and other engagements. The whole family was involved in the services, doing puppet shows and many other activities.

Colene came to Maranatha with a wealth of experience in the fine arts field, having performed in several productions at Pillsbury as a student and faculty member. In their first years here at Maranatha, Colene was responsible for many of the drama classes, including her Dramatic Productions class, which supplied the stage crew for dramas during those years. She was also responsible for the costume room, though she admits to not being very good at sewing. She recalls one of her hardest challenges being the creation of a costume for Pastor Rich Akins, the Academy principal and football coach at the time, for his role as Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace. The camouflage Bermuda shorts and cape were a hit, and I still remember the first time he appeared on stage in that outfit. In more recent years, Colene assisted with several major productions, including The Rivals and Taming of the Shrew. She also was involved with readings and monologues in numerous Fall Festival programs and directed many recitals through the years. She has been a popular speaker for churches, women’s groups, and Christian educator conferences, presenting her one-woman portrayals of various women of the faith. Besides all her involvement in the Fine Arts Department, she has impacted lives through her classes in the Church Ministries Department. She taught me, personally, a lot about being a Godly woman, but she also taught me about football. I believe she is the Crusaders’ most loyal fan, faithfully rooting on the teams, her husband, and her sons through many seasons of football.

DSC_2896In 1984, besides being a teacher, Terry also was head coach for Maranatha Academy football, putting his many years of experience as a football coach into practice. He came to Maranatha with 13 years of college coaching experience at Pillsbury as assistant coach and head coach. In 1985, he took over as head coach for the Maranatha college team. He coached the Crusaders for twenty-six years as head coach and then 2 years as an assistant coach. His coaching record at Maranatha was 115 wins and 134 losses. Some of the highlights were three UMAC Champions (1990, 1996, 1998) and Southern Division Championship in 2002. However, the first things that came to the Prices’ minds when asked about highlights were the bid to play in the National Christian College Athletic Association Victory Bowl in 1998, having the opportunity to play in the Metra Dome, and missions trips to France, Dublin, and most recently Israel. Colene was not able to go on the trip to France, but she went on the other two trips, where she and Sue Malmanger helped cook for the team.  In 2003, Terry was recognized with a Lifetime Coaching Award by the UMAC for his impact on the Conference. He reached the career milestone of 100 wins in 1997 and 100 wins at Maranatha in 2006. Among numerous career highlights, Terry lists the fact that he was able to coach all three of his sons as each of them received all-conference recognition in the UMAC and that he had such faithful assistant coaches as Curt Malmanger for 36 years, Clayton Morrison for 27 years, and his son Phil for 12 years. More important to Terry than all these achievements was the opportunity football gave him to talk about serious spiritual matters like assurance, salvation, or spiritual direction with his players. It gave him the opportunity to talk about spiritual needs with referees and coaches as well. Fans have even opened the opportunity themselves by asking him what made his players different. In 2000, Terry took on additional responsibilities as Maranatha’s Director of Athletics. At the time, Maranatha was new to the NCAA Div. III, and he helped develop our standing in that conference. Since Terry was my boss for many years, I was able to see his life firsthand and was again impressed by his godly wisdom and desire to see the athletes grow in their relationship with the Lord. I also witnessed the heart he and his wife had for the Christian Ministries Department, where they served for about 20 years. This could be seen not only in their classrooms, but also in many other venues throughout their years at Maranatha. They always do more than teach: they serve. During their years at Maranatha, they interned at several churches, held Christian Education conferences, spoke at camps, and served others in many different ways. Terry was also the assistant softball coach for 8 years. In 2009, the alumni, along with family and friends, helped him celebrate his 25th season as the Crusaders’ head coach.

footballguys prayingThis spring, we had the opportunity to honor the Prices once again. After 29 years of faithful service at Maranatha, Terry and Colene Price retired. While their presence in the classroom and in many activities around campus will be missed, the impact they have had on all our lives will continue to be felt. Rob Thompson, Maranatha’s current athletic director, would like to thank Terry for his many years of service to Maranatha and the impact he has had on scores of young men through his ministry in football, and on hundreds of others he impacted as the athletic director. He said, “for 28 years Coach Terry Price walked the sidelines at Maranatha and for 6 years led the department through transition times. His leadership and welcoming personality have been both a blessing and challenge to me, personally, and to our department.” The Prices feel so privileged that the Lord has used them to be a spiritual influence on so many lives. They said, “One of the things we have talked about as a couple is how honored we feel to have worked at both Maranatha and Pillsbury with some of the finest, dedicated, godly people who helped us raise our children in a God-honoring way.”

What direction will the Prices’ future be heading? After 42 years in the classroom (about a dozen less for Colene), the Prices feel the Lord has another part-time ministry for them in their future. Where or what it will be is something they are still waiting for the Lord to show them. They know the Lord is in control of everything. Terry said “It is our desire to finish strong. Maranatha will always draw us back from wherever the Lord leads us. It will always have a strong place in our hearts.” Currently, they are going out several times each month to speak at churches on various topics concerning the home, family, and Christian education.

Football Rockford TM 183Through the years, it has been a great blessing to the Prices to get to know many wonderful parents of their students and football players. However the Prices’ greatest joy is hearing from graduates of Pillsbury or Maranatha, whether they were football players, Church ministry students, or fine arts students, that they are still faithfully serving the Lord. Terry said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” Being able to see these families grow up faithfully serving the Lord is a great reward.

by Ann Bolton