Roger Cleere grew up learning music at Odessa High School and attending Vine Baptist Church, where he participated in church music and went on mission trips involving musical presentations.
A former symphonic violinist at OHS, Cleere now serves as the worship and music pastor at the Second Baptist Church at 711 E. 17th St., rehearsing each week’s program with the stage band and singers.
His brother Jeff is the music minister at Chapel Hill Baptist Church.
“We want to create an opportunity for people to move into the time of worship and be prepared for the message that is brought later in the service by Pastor Jackie Brem,” Cleere said. “We do some traditional hymns and as well as the more contemporary Christian music that’s out there today.
“We call the church our second family.”
Cleere is an Odessa native who graduated from OHS in 1984 and attended Odessa College. He worked for Gregory Rig Service and joined the Ector County Independent School District in 1994 as a mechanic. He then worked as a parts room clerk, lead mechanic and shop foreman for ECISD till his 2016 appointment as director of transportation. He and his wife Lu have two daughters and three grandsons.
Cleere’s church in early April was averaging 55 people at its 10:45 a.m. Sunday services.
“As time progressed, God called me into leading worship and music,” he said. “We enjoy working with all our brothers and sisters in Christ. The support they give to me and my family is second to none.”
The stage band includes his wife, who plays bass and acoustic guitar and sings, pianist Jency Robinson, keyboardist Paula Cass and singers Wayne Craighead, Keira Brem and Cleere.
Kathy Craighead, Wayne’s wife, said Cleere “is very authentic, compassionate and hard-working.
“As a music minister, Roger loves God first, then he loves music and leading people to worship,” Craighead said. “They do a variety of things with traditional songs from the hymnal and some of the more contemporary songs, so he tries to meet the needs of everyone. They rehearse during the week and on Sunday mornings.
“We have gone on vacations with Lu and him and Roger is fun and funny. He says, ‘I work hard and I vacation hard.’ He enjoys working and being at the church, but he also enjoys being able to be away.”