Cliff Cerce: Devotee of Southern Gospel and Member of The Cerces
Cliff Cerce, a dedicated fan of Southern Gospel and a cherished member of The Cerces, has passed away. He played a significant role in the group as their manager, pianist, and baritone, leaving a lasting impression on the Southern Gospel music scene.
This biography honors Cliff Cerce’s extraordinary life and the meaningful influence he had on the genre.
Early Life and Musical Journey
Cliff Cerce grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, where his love for music and Southern Gospel started to grow. He had a diverse career in the field of music, serving as a lead pastor, associate pastor, professor at a ministry college, evangelist, and radio talk show host on a Christian radio station. He also worked behind the scenes as a program director, studio musician, recording engineer, and producer.
Musical Collaborations and Achievements
Cliff Cerce, a talented musician, had an exciting journey in the music industry. He had the opportunity to collaborate with famous gospel groups like The Gabriels and The Forerunners.
When The Couriers took a break in the early 1980s, Cliff played the piano for Duane Nicholson, who was the group’s tenor singer, for many years.
Cliff’s skills in composing and arranging music were crucial in creating The Cerces’ unique sound. He also worked with The Couriers on their television ministry and produced music for respected artists such as James Blackwood and Dan Betzer.
The Cerces’ Legacy and Contributions
Cliff Cerce was a member of The Cerces, a group known for their contributions to Southern Gospel music. They have released 10 CDs and 2 DVDs, impressing audiences with their exceptional performances.
The CD version of their production received the highest rating, “AAA Excellent,” from The Singing News. Their live performance DVD, titled “The Cerces…Live in St Louis,” was one of the Top Ten finalists for the prestigious 2009 Diamond Awards, a highly regarded honor in Gospel music.
In addition to their musical achievements, The Cerces actively participated in various organizations such as the International Association of Music Ministries, Heart of Truth Ministries, Southern Gospel Music Association, and the Country Gospel Music Association (CGMA).
For four years, Cliff Cerce served as the director of the Branson Chapter for the CGMA, contributing to the growth and promotion of Southern Gospel music in the region.
Personal Life and Last Days
Cliff Cerce had a loving and supportive family who were always there for him during his musical journey. He is survived by his beloved wife Anita, three children, their caring spouses, and six cherished grandchildren. His sudden passing in May 2023 was a shock to his loved ones, who had hoped and prayed for his recovery.
Anita shared the sad news on Facebook and expressed her gratitude for the prayers and support they received from friends and others during this difficult time. Cliff Cerce’s strong faith and dedication to his music will always be remembered by those who had the privilege of knowing him.
Cliff Cerce’s strong commitment to Southern Gospel music and his work with The Cerces have left a lasting impact. He had a special talent, love, and dedication for his music that touched the hearts of many.
Although he is no longer with us, his music will continue to inspire and bring joy to future generations. We remember and feel saddened by the loss of Cliff Cerce, a remarkable person who will be greatly missed by the Southern Gospel community. May his soul find eternal peace.