The multi-award winning musical dynasty, The Winans Family said good bye to Ronald Winans, the second eldest of the ten siblings, on the morning of June 17th Winans endured a massive heart-attack in 1997, but because of much prayer he experienced a miraculous recovery after the doctors had given him up for dead. In recent weeks, Ronald was admitted to the hospital for observation after the doctors realized he was retaining an abnormal amount of fluid in his body. On Thursday the doctors announced that they didn't feel Winans would make it through the night and he peacefully succumbed due to heart complications early this morning. The entire family gathered together at Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan to be with Ronald until his final moments. "The family wishes to thank everyone who joined us in prayer and will continue to extend their unwavering support during our time of loss," states the seventh son, BeBe Winans.
Interview with Ron Winans
by Mark Weber
If gospel music had a "first family," it would be the Winans. BeBe & CeCe are perhaps the most popular, but there's also plenty of other famous Winans, including BeBe & CeCe's brother, Ron. What sets Ron apart from the rest of his family is his amazing testimony. You see, Ron actually died and came back to life. He's a modern day Lazarus.
"In 1996," he says, "I started to get ill around the middle of the year with something that I thought was the flu. The doctor diagnosed it as bronchitis or some type of congestion."
During the months after meeting with his doctor, Ron felt the worst he had ever felt in his life. So in January 1997, he went to the University of Michigan hospital to be examined.
"They found out instantly what was wrong," he says. "I had a torn aorta and a torn heart valve, something that should have killed me instantly. Then they found out that I had actually suffered a massive heart attack and did not know it, and I had been walking around with it for maybe four or five months."
The hospital admitted him immediately and told him he needed to have open-heart surgery as soon as possible or he would probably die within days. Further tests showed the damage to be worse than they first believed. Medical staff came to the conclusion that if they did operate on Ron, he would definitely die on the operating table.
At the time, things seemed hopeless, but that's where the Winans family began to pray. Soon people all over the nation were praying for Ron, and it was decided that the doctors would go ahead with the operation.
"They tried the operation and did very well," he says. "They began to sew me back up, but right before they finished, everything they did came loose and that's when I flat lined. I actually died for four to five minutes."
Medical staff told Ron's family he was "gone," but the Winans did not want to give up hope just yet.
"They gathered around the surgical team and prayed," he says. "The team went back in and re-did the operation. The doctor told me he didn't do anything differentï¿½ but that time it worked."
Ron's latest CD, "Family & Friends 5" is subtitled "a celebration," and rightly so, because it contains songs that convey the joy he and his family members feel when they look back and consider how great God was, and is. Several Winans family members are featured on the CD, including BeBe, CeCe and Marvin. "Family & Friends 5" also features two songs that are very near and dear to Ron's heart.
"The song `My Help' really blesses me when I sing it because it's so factual in my life," he says. "I know my family loves me and if they could have just blinked their eyes to make everything go away they would have, but no matter how much they wanted to, my help had to come from on high."
"And `I Shall Not Die But Live' is my testimony," he says. "David said in the Psalms, `I shall not die but live,' and the rest of that is, `to declare the works of the Lord.' What David was saying is the grave cannot praise God. If I'm dead, in a grave, I can't declare His works. So, I need to be alive."
Today, Ron is alive and well, telling people about the healing and saving power of Jesus Christ. He currently serves as an associate elder at his brother's church in Michigan.
"We're growing by leaps and bounds. Young people are giving their lives to God. We're seeing God change people," he says.
The five time Grammy winner plans to continue to serve his local faith community as well as travel around the world testifying about his miraculous healing.
"What God has done for me is no less than a miracle, but the greatest miracle that can ever happen is to have God wash your sins away and give you salvation," he says. "I've found Him to be my all in all. Everything I'm about is about Jesus."
-- April 2005
Winans who was to turn 49 years old on the 30th of June, 2005, was part of the quartet, The Winans. The four brothers Marvin, Carvin, Michael & Ronald were discovered by contemporary gospel pioneer, singer/songwriter/ producer, Andrae Crouch. They released their first album in 1981 titled, Introducing The Winans. It was with this release that the world would become familiar with the name, Winans, which is now synonymous with gospel. In January 2005 Winans released his final CD, Ron Winans Family & Friends V: A Celebration which was recorded live at Greater Grace in Detroit. The family has made an incredible mark in the music industry racking up a myriad of awards and accolades. Often referred to as the first family of gospel, their achievements include 31 Grammy Awards, over 20 Stellar and Dove Awards and 6 NAACP Image Awards. Ronald will be missed but not forgotten and his contribution to the gospel music world and the church will live on forever.