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Bernice Crowder, singer, songwriter, composer and worshiper, was born Bernice Celeste Lawrence on 23 July in picturesque East London. She is the youngest daughter of the well respected, Reverend Attie [Andrew] Lawrence and the late Margret Lawrence; she has two older sisters and a brother.
Her mother was an avid musician, music teacher and vocal coach, and from a young age she and her siblings were groomed for singing by their late mother. Bernice, her brother and sisters won many regional music and talent contests growing up, performing all across South Africa.
After the death of their mother in 1992, Bernice and two of her siblings relocated to Johannesburg. Here through the toughest of circumstances she managed to get an education, and develop into fine young lady, holding onto the values and faith instilled in her while she was young. She tried to turn her back on music, but God always has a way of getting a person to the place He intends for them to be.
She attended Church but was not involved in music, running away from it in every way possible. Despite all her efforts, her natural musical gift was identified in the local church she attended, and subsequently, Bernice, was involved in the music department. Here she sang in the choir and when they recorded their first CD in 1998, she sang the lead vocals on one of the tracks, “Trust in the Lord” which was written by Janine Price. She also did the vocal arrangements for the choir on the CD.
Bernice continued to sing more lead vocals and also write songs on the church’s subsequent CD’s. In total she sang and wrote for 6 of their CD’s recorded over the years.
Proverbs 18:16 States : A Man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. This is exactly what God did with Bernice’s Gift. She has sung on various Television productions, travelled and ministered beyond the borders of SA, shared the stage with top local and International gospel artists. She also sang the lead vocals along with actor, minister and author, Zane Meas, on the title track of his debut Afrikaans CD. “Hart van die Vader”
Finally, in 2009, God ordained that she would “hook up” with an old family friend, the renowned recording artist and music producer Minister Jabu Nkabinde, for her first solo project. Her self- titled debut album is a true reflection of her multifaceted musical influences, and contains various musical genres from slow contemporary, to African traditional. It showcases her ability to comfortably sing any musical genre.
Two years later Bernice Crowder returned to the studio to work on her second album. She once again searched deep within herself to write songs based on her own life experiences and share them with us through the medium of song.
Her music has been described as a breath of fresh air to the Gospel Industry, because of its originality and her ministry.
Through her music she wishes to touch people’s lives with the sincere message of hope, healing, love and peace in Christ Jesus.