CeCe Winans and Alvin Love II Are Growing Their Nashville Church by Encouraging People to Get Married and Have Children

CeCe Winans, left, and her husband, Alvin Love II, right, encouraged Dwan and Laura Hill to start dating. The four pose for a picture after a service at Nashville Life Church in Nashville Tenn., where Winans and her husband are pastors. (Photo: Mark Zaleski/For the Tennessean)
CeCe Winans, left, and her husband, Alvin Love II, right, encouraged Dwan and Laura Hill to start dating. The four pose for a picture after a service at Nashville Life Church in Nashville Tenn., where Winans and her husband are pastors. (Photo: Mark Zaleski/For the Tennessean)

CeCe Winans has found a unique way to grow the size of her church congregation – set up single members with each other.

Dozens of parishioners have coupled up and started long-term relationships at Nashville Life Church, which Winans started with her husband, Alvin Love II, about six years ago.

“My husband has married, oh, I don’t know how many people. Now we’re having a lot of babies at Nashville Life,” she added with a laugh.

Turns out the pastors have a hand in creating these families. Single men and women there often get a nudge toward romance from Winans and her husband.

“More like a shove!” said Nashville Life worship music director Dwan Hill, who married a fellow congregant, Laura, three years ago.

Dwan Hill, 32, is a founding member of the church, and he became the music director before Laura, 35, started coming to Nashville Life.

There were no sparks at first.

“I just remember having a conversation with him and thinking, ‘Oh, he’s somebody I can talk to and get to know,’ ” Laura said.

Things started to change for Dwan when, during music rehearsals at the church, he noticed Laura was cleaning the men’s room.

“It was rare. She wasn’t trying to be on stage or create an image. She was just happy serving God and serving church,” Dwan said. “That day, she moved from friend to friend plus.”

And, in those days, Winans and her husband started gently pushing.

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SOURCE: Brad Schmitt
USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee / The Tennesseean