Christian praise & worship songwriter and singer Cindy Cruse Ratcliff began her musical ministering at the age of six when she took the stage with her family, the Cruse Family, a well-known evangelistic vocal group who released some 25 albums, received two Dove Awards, and toured the world ministering in the 1970s and 1980s.
Early in her singing and writing career (she became the youngest licensed ASCAP songwriter at the age of nine), though, Ratcliff took a slightly more secular approach, releasing a pair of melodic and spiritually based rock albums, The Edge in 1989 and Small Town Girl in 1991 (she had previously released two album cassettes, Cruse and Cruse 2, both in 1984). In 2000 she was hired by Joel Osteen to become worship director at his Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, and in 2008 she was promoted to senior worship leader. By this point, Joel Osteen Ministries was one of the country's largest ministries, and Cruse Ratcliff was a key figure in Osteen's arena worship tours and the live CDs that came from them. She released her first solo album in over ten years in 2010, Twenty Three, which featured a dozen new original songs. Produced by David Hanley, 2014's Heaven Raining Down was recorded at Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston and features Cruse Ratcliff-penned original praise & worship material based on Osteen's sermons and message. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi