By Robert M. Marovich

When gospel singer and songwriter Latrice Pace belts out the show-stopping “I Know Where I’ve Been” during performances of the Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray in Atlanta later this summer, the lyrics are likely to hold personal meaning for her.

A member of the Anointed Pace Sisters (nicknamed the First Family of Gospel), Latrice has experienced her share of life’s peaks and valleys. Recent peaks include two 2024 Stellar Award nominations: Song of the Year for “It’s Morning” and Contemporary Artist of the Year. “It’s Morning” was named one of the top gospel songs of 2023 by the Journal of Gospel Music.

The valleys, on the other hand, found Latrice caring for her ailing mother Bettie Ann and then her ailing sisters Duranice and LaShun, also of the Anointed Pace Sisters. Bettie died in 2018, Duranice in 2021, and LaShun in 2022.

“I navigated those losses with faith, knowing that God doesn’t make mistakes,” Latrice told JGM. “It was just trusting him and knowing it will work out for good—not for my good—but for the overall good of his purpose.”

She added: “I realize now that he allowed us to go through that loss so that we can be there for others in their time of loss. It made me more compassionate, more sympathetic and empathetic. That’s all he wants – for us to be compassionate.”

“It’s Morning” is based on Psalm 143:8 (“Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning”). “It is a simple prayer,” Latrice said. “Let me hear your voice, guide me, let me know that you’re still with me. The song resonates with so many people because all of us are dealing with something and long for tomorrow to look and feel different.”

The Stellar-nominated song is from Latrice’s latest album, Exodus: The Journey of Obedience, Volume 2, released a year ago.

“The meaning behind the title of the album is obeying God, no matter what,” Latrice explained. “Because of our insecurities and our failures, we tend to disqualify ourselves, but he called us, and the fact that he called us qualifies us. It doesn’t matter what we think of ourselves; God sees us as somebody.”

Although Latrice wrote the songs for the album prior to the pandemic (“all of the songs were birthed in prayer and I was just a vessel,” she said), listeners have expressed how meaningful the songs feel in its wake. On that phenomenon, Latrice, brought up in the Church of God in Christ, believes that God “knew that we were going to go through the pandemic before it happened. He put me in a space where I could write him songs beforehand, because afterwards, he knew everybody would be confused and trying to figure out what’s going on.”

In addition to seeing whether she takes home two Stellar Awards on July 20, Latrice will continue promoting the album. She has also scheduled a mission trip to Wales “to use my voice to help bring healing to people.” It will be her first visit to Wales where, she said, “they have a love for the gospel sound.”

Besides her forthcoming appearance in Hairspray, Latrice recently completed work in New York on another show that is slated for release next year. “I love theater,” she said. “It’s a passion. I actually tell people that I’m an actor who just happens to know how to sing!” To that point, Latrice has several TV and film credits, according to the IMDb.

On top of everything, Latrice has embraced entrepreneurship with Treecie Treats Cupcakery. “I was baking cupcakes for an event in Atlanta,” she said, “and people told me I should turn it into a business.”

People can visit the Treecie Treats website and place an order online for handcrafted cupcakes with flavors from red velvet and key lime to strawberry shortcake and peach cobbler. Latrice’s culinary talents have earned her the prestigious title of Supermarket Superstar on Lifetime.

Latrice insists that entrepreneurship is not at all inconsistent with her art. “It’s an extension of who I am as a creative being,” she explained. “I love creating. I love working with my hands. I bake. I’ve written workbooks to help people on their health journey. Pretty much anything I put my mind to do, I can do it. If we get out of our way, we realize we’re all entrepreneurs—serial entrepreneurs.”

Reflecting on her journey, from a little girl singing with her sisters at her uncle Gene Martin’s revivals to her years with the Anointed Pace Sisters, Latrice points to her favorite song with the group, 1992’s “Jesus Loves Me.” (remember? “He’s better than Campbell Soup…he’s better than Scotch tape”) She said. “My favorite part of that song is ‘He’ll be there, He’ll be right there.’ It grabs my heart every time.”

For an artist, Latrice says, “you want people to connect with the message. Because if they’re not, it’s like, what are we doing?”

For more information, visit

Leave A Comment

Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.