Laughter, they say, is the best medicine; perhaps that is why Chonda Pierce is in the business of comedy. Because of her clean comedy she is often called the queen of cleanliness and has produced a number of bestsellers.
However, it might be less funny to know that the Queen of Cleanliness has lived a life of tremendous sadness and chronic tragedy: physical abuse by her father, the sudden loss of her teenage sisters, the death of her mother, her estranged relationship with her daughter and the eventual death of her husband. Follow us as we try to tell you everything you need to know about this beloved funny woman.
Who Is Chonda Pierce?
Chonda Ruth Courtney was born on March 4, 1960, in Covington, Kentucky, in the United States of America as Chonda Ruth Courtney. Chonda Pierce is a contemporary gospel stand-up comedian, television presenter, author, and actress. She is the third of four children – a boy and three girls. Pierce spent most of her early life in Georgetown, South Carolina, and lived in Myrtle Beach. When she was 15 years old, her family moved to Ashland City, Tennessee, near Nashville.
Her father, a pastor, was a very violent man. Her two sisters died before she turned 18: the older, Charlotta Kay, died at the age of 20 in a car accident, while the younger, Cheralyn Ann, died of leukemia at the age of 15. Chonda had, to say the least, a traumatic childhood.
She attended Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville for her studies and was later transferred to Austin Peay State University. She majored in theater arts and had hopes of becoming an actress one day.
On August 13, 2016, Chonda Pierce released the documentary film about her life entitled “Laughing In The Dark and Enough”. It depicted the loss of her mother, the alienation of her daughter, the death of her husband, and her struggle with clinical depression. She made the film in the hope that it would serve as a vehicle to inspire others who may have reached the points of darkness and depression in their lives. The documentary received five Daytime Emmy nominations and won the Best Documentary Award at the 2016 Park City International Film Festival.
She is also the winner of the Gospel Music Association’s Grady Nutt Humor Award and the RIAA’s most awarded female comedian in history. Pierce turned her storytelling gift into a successful comedy career, selling more comedy albums than any other comedienne. She has also written eight books.
Beyond her work in comedy, Pierce has used her success to help others. In 2006, she founded the Branches Recovery Center, which provides counseling and treatment for people with depression, anxiety, and addiction problems, regardless of their ability to pay. She has also raised several million dollars for international aid organizations such as Compassion International, WorldVision, Food for the Hungry, and Feed The Children.
Pierce’s net worth is estimated at around $250,000.
Estranged Daughter, Husband, and Other Family Member
Chonda Pierce has two children: Chera Pierce Meredith (one daughter, born February 13, 1984) and David Zachary Pierce (her son, born September 6, 1989.) Her daughter was named after her deceased sisters. Together with her husband, they were a family of four.
Chera began to be angry with her parents for reasons best known to her. It is said, however, that her bitterness towards her parents, especially her mother, is due to Chonda’s extreme focus on her career at the expense of the family. Eventually, Chera married had children, and broke off all contact with her parents and family.
Chonda and her husband, David W. Pierce, first met in his second grade at Cheatham County High School in Ashland City, Tennessee. David was a handsome young lad who was a state wrestling champion; he also played the guitar. Although he and Chonda were friends at first, over time their friendship turned into a full-fledged romance. As in those days, David took care of his divorced father, who was a chronic alcoholic known as the drunkard of Ashland City.
Shortly after college, Chonda and David got married in Ashland City in 1984, with David working as an English professor at Middle Tennessee State University and Chonda continuing her career in church comedy. With the loss of her daughter due to family neglect and wrong upbringing, David found solace in alcohol, and things became even more unpleasant for Chonda Pierce.
In 2011 she brought David to Cumberland Heights for treatment, where he spent 30 days. On his return, the couple celebrated with a dinner. However, it was not long before David’s drinking habits were resumed. Chonda immediately took him back to rehab for further treatment. This time at a men’s rehab center in Burns, Tenn.
In the midst of the crisis, Chonda Pierce lost her mother and her relationship with her estranged daughter deteriorated. Unfortunately, David never managed to overcome his alcoholism. He attended rehab and counseling centers until he suffered a stroke in 2013. After that, he was on life support for more than a year, and the doctors had no choice but to pull the plug on him in 2014. An hour later, he died under the eyes of Chonda Pierce.
At the time of writing this article, the Queen of Cleanliness is living with her son Zachary. She is single and it is as if she is done with love. If you ask us, Chonda is fully focused on other aspects of her life, like her career and what is left of her family.