It seems like only yesterday that Cecil Jay Roberts burst onto the Christian music scene with his debut album: "From There to Here".
However, with a history of musical extravaganza spanning nearly two decades, Cecil has done everything from heading up choirs, to fronting a very successful four-piece Christian band; but most of all, he has mentored, challenged and inspired many artistes to a call of excellence.
Born Cecil Anang, son of a diplomat, Cecil was the last of six children. He and his family arrived in the United Kingdom during the late seventies. Like most children of his age, Cecil spent all of his formative years listening to his dad's collection of Motown greats and whatever else was ''hot'' at the time. In a recent interview, he spoke about how his quest to explore other forms of musical genres defined his style of music, at times almost contending with his familiar roots as well as his love of Gospel music: "There was always a conflict! I guess you could say I was stuck between a rock and a hard place."
Finally, on abandoning a career in sound engineering, Cecil re-engaged with his love for all things music. He has since assisted many churches with their worship set-ups and is currently Worship Pastor at Salvation For The Nations Churches. Despite his gruelling schedules, Cecil still finds the time to research his theological degree.
"One day I hope to provide more accurate findings based on extensive research, to corroborate the current perception of church growth within the United Kingdom."
When asked about how music fits into his role as an ongoing student of theology, Cecil replied: "It's not a case of whether music fits into the word or not because music and the word are one! Let's not forget that music originated from God. Therefore when used coherently and concurrently with the Word of God, music can be a great source in reaching souls. In other words music is my rod and the tool which aids my preaching of the word."
So what does Cecil do during his spare time? "Well, at the moment I'm involved in a lot of other church activities which involves the wider body of Christ. I recently joined the Worship Central team (at HTB) where I played with the band. I continue to do so as a matter of priority, because I admire and believe in the work that Worship Central, in collaboration with the Alpha Course, is doing to change and affect the lives of so many people in our nation and across the globe.
Also as part of his charitable commitments, Cecil supports Compassionart and various other charities. In 2010 Cecil debuted his first solo album, with songs like 'Worthy is the Lamb' and 'Your Name'. In a commentary written by Tony Cummings of Cross Rhythms, Tony described Cecil's vocals as being "deeply emotional, with lots of soul singing which would show up the vast majority of X Factor entrants regardless of how much auto-tuning they use".
However, this modest and at times soft spoken evangelist is always a bit coy about his achievements. To validate this statement, when Cecil was asked about his greatest moments or accomplishments, he answered: "The day I found myself, my purpose and the reason for my existence."
So what has 2013 got to offer? Well according to him, 2013 is the year when we step out into higher heights for Jesus and his church.
"We must no longer apologise for who we are and what we believe in. Moreover, 2013 is the year where we challenge the status quo and take the good news of Jesus Christ to a whole new level.
"This includes embracing relevant change as well as using all the available resources that have been made available to us to further the Kingdom of God, in an increasingly changing world.
"My contribution this year is a new worship album, more souls for Christ and to continue to lead God's people in word and worship."
For more information on tour dates, preaching engagements and conferences, visit www.ceciljayroberts.com