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By: Marsha DuCille

CeCe WinansIn a world where compromise is commonplace among high-profile Christians, Priscilla "CeCe" Marie Winans Love is an exceptional case. She is straightforward and unpretentious. Her message never changes, and her decisions are rooted in an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. She is born again, filled with the Holy Spirit, and a tongue-talking Pentecostal. And, being a Christian is not a marketing ploy that she uses to sell records and garner professional success. That is who she is.

As a member of the brother-sister duo, "BeBe and CeCe Winans," the songstress soared on both R&B and Christian music charts. In her solo career, CeCe released several gold-and platinum-certified albums, such as Alone in His Presence, Alabaster Box, and Throne Room. Her collection of Top Ten R&B radio hits included a duet with her late and long-time friend Whitney Houston: "Count on Me" from Waiting to Exhale’s movie soundtrack. CeCe’s accomplishments even extended to publishing, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship. Plus, to top it all off, in 2005 she launched Always Sisters Forever Brothers — a national conference that ministers to over 3,500 youth and young adults each year.

While talking to CeCe Winans, it was easy to forget that she was a multi-platinum recording artist who had earned 8 Grammy Awards, 21 Dove Awards, 2 Stellar Awards, and a host of other accolades. Her spirit was refreshingly simple. — It was as if the residue of fame had never touched her. — Compromise was not an option, and preaching the Gospel from her platform was a must.

During our conversation, I wondered how it was possible for CeCe to maintain a pure and uncompromising spirit. But at the end of the interview, I understood why: CeCe Winans had a heart that chased only after God. Fame didn’t matter, fortune was incidental, and success was defined by the will of God.

It's About Christ

CALLED MAGAZINE: How would you describe your personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
CeCe Winans: It’s by far the most important relationship that I have ever had. It brings me peace. It gives me everlasting joy no matter what my circumstances are. I know that my name is written in the Book of Life. I don’t know how people live without Christ. Reading His Word gives me the answer to every problem in my life.

CM: Even the best of relationships can, at times, go through ups and downs. Were there moments when your walk with Christ was not where it needed to be?
CW: I’ve had ups and downs in my spiritual walk, but I’ve never felt tempted to leave Christ. When I’m having a rough time, having a Grammy doesn’t help me. But getting on my knees always does. Somehow, I always knew that fame and fortune could never replace Christ. Have I ever gotten so busy that I was not as faithful in my spiritual walk? Absolutely. You can get so busy doing ministry that your relationship with Christ suffers. And if your relationship with Christ is not intact, you can’t minister to other people. So, I definitely had to learn how to keep my priorities straight. Relationships evolve, mature, and strengthen over time. That also applied to my relationship with Christ.