When the then-teenaged CeCe Winans first came to the public’s attention, some wondered if she had “it” or had simply hooked her star onto the success of her brothers, gospel music’s legendary group The Winans.
But from the beginning and still today as she embarks on her U.S. tour, and with the recent release of her first solo CD in almost 10 years, she has always maintained that only one constant has shaped her decisions and her life: “keeping God first.”
“If I dared to believe what people say or write about me, I might be fooled to think that I’m a superwoman — but I know better. Truthfully, I have a superb team, an amazing husband who supports me 200 percent and I’m always careful to keep my priorities straight. Famous or not, we all have flaws and make mistakes. But as long as we work toward pleasing God, instead of others, the blessings will come,” said Winans who co-pastors a vibrant church in Nashville along with her other half, the Rev. Alvin Love II, which they formed in 2015.
Winans, whose award-winning career has crossed several musical genres and influenced a generation of both gospel and secular vocalists, selling over five million albums in the U.S. alone, kicked off her recent tour in New Orleans May 31. She’ll appear in the District on Friday, June 16 at the Warner Theater in Northwest where she’ll continue doing that for which she’s long been known: inspiring and encouraging audiences.
She emphasized that returning to the studio and going back on the road had a lot to do with her son (Alvin Love III) — a songwriter and producer in his own right.
“I had to wait until the right time before going back to the studio. My son had this vision but it took me some time to get on board, especially being able to submit to him and letting him tell me what to do. But eventually I was sold,” she said, adding that her son wrote 7 of the 10 songs on her new CD, producing it as well.
“It’s amazing to see God’s faithfulness continue from generation to generation,” she said.
CeCe said with a chuckle, that she had to undergo some sweat and pain, working with her personal trainer so she could get in shape before she felt comfortable enough to return to the stage.
“I wanted to be at my [physical] best,” she said. “Plus, this is the first time I’ve had to balance being an artist and serving as a pastor — that was a big adjustment. Still, being on tour again is exciting. Sometimes, people come up to me and share their testimonies, saying things like my music ministry saved their lives. That’s what I love about serving God and connecting with the public.”
She said she’s proud to have MedShare and the tour’s supporter — an organization dedicated to improving lives and contributing to the healthcare industry. Even more, she maintains the belief that as she sings songs of praise, that her message will make a difference to someone, particularly those who feel lost and alone.
“All of our problems stem from not putting God first,” she said. “What I love about serving God is when you put Him first you can see things more clearly. Remember, God’s obligated and has promised to fix whatever’s broken in our lives. No matter how big the mountain appears — the challenges — we should never forget that He’s bigger than any mountain.
“As one of my songs says, ‘You are never alone’ — that’s a truth that we often don’t fully understand until we’re in the midst of the storm and put God first,” she said.