CeCe Winans: Attributes Blessings to ‘Keeping God First’

U.S. Tour Showcases Artist's Standards, Selections from New CD

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.

About D. Kevin McNeir – Washington Informer Editor 158 Articles

Award-winning journalist, book editor, voice-over specialist and author with 17 years in the industry. Currently an education and religion beat reporter for The Washington Informer. But I also tackle local (D.C. and Maryland) politics, entertainment, business and health articles to maintain my edge.

Born and raised in Motown and a staunch Wolverine – that is a graduate of the University of Michigan, I left corporate America (IBM) to pursue my passion for writing, accepting a beat reporter’s gig under the tutelage of the late Sam Logan, founding publisher of the Michigan Chronicle. I continued to hone my craft at N’DIGO Magapaper, Windy City Times and The Wednesday Journal, all in Chicagoland; the Atlanta Voice and The Miami Times. I’ve been fortunate to be chosen twice as the Feature Writer of the Year by the Chicago Association of Black Journalists. Later, as the senior editor of one of the country’s oldest Black-owned newspapers, The Miami Times, I helped my staff bring home the NNPA’s highest honor – Publication of the Year, 2001. That same year I picked up first and second place awards for news and feature writing, respectively, also from the NNPA.

Today I’m based in the nation’s capital where I’m honored to serve as the editor for The Washington Informer. Recognizing the importance of education, I’ve earned two master’s degrees from Emory University, Summa Cum Laude and Princeton Theological Seminary, majoring in theology and philosophy.

If I can slow down, I may actually complete and publish a collection of essays I’ve been working on for many years, “Growing up Motown,” sharing childhood memories of experiences with musical legends like Marvin Gaye, Kim Weston, the Four Tops, the Miracles, Gladys Knight and Take Six. My favorite foods: spinach, lasagna, pancakes and Oysters Rockefeller. My mom, 86, always my “best friend” and “cheerleader,” now lives with me and she brings me great joy. I’m a fiercely protective yet encouraging father and grandfather always down for traveling, shopping or celebrating the natural beauty of God’s world. I live by the following words: “Less is more” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

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