Supervisor Rev. Carolyn Elizabeth Irvin Brailsford
Episcopal Supervisor Rev. Carolyn Elizabeth Irvin Brailsford is a native of Valdosta, GA, and serves the 19th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Married to Bishop Dr. Ronnie Elijah Brailsford, Sr., she also served in the 20th Episcopal District. She was Minister of Music and Worship Arts at Bethel A.M.E Church in Columbia, SC as Bishop Brailsford pastored 24 years. Previously, she served on the faculty of Spelman College (Atlanta, GA), and Allen University (Columbia, SC) as Choral Directress and Instructor of Music. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Spelman College where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music; and an Honors graduate of Indiana University (Bloomington) where she earned a Master of Music Degree with Distinction in Vocal Performance. She did further studies in the area of Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. Affectionately called "Rev. Carolyn", Supervisor C, or Mother, she is an Ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The first Miss Black Valdosta, Rev. Carolyn is a national recording artist, songwriter, and preacher of the Gospel. She ministers as Psalmist/ Vocal Artist, preacher/ speaker, teacher of vocal workshops for adults and youths, and often as presenter on the special topic of Praise and Worship.
From Classical to Contemporary Christian/ Gospel Music, Rev. Carolyn's gift of song has made room for her on many diverse stages. She has performed for noted dignitaries and shared the stage with music legends, including Opera Legend, Leontyne Price, Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, David and Tamala Mann, CeCe Winans, Bobby Jones, Kirk Franklin, John P. Kee, Norman Hutchins, Shirley Caesar, Dorothy Norwood, Dottie Peoples, and Luther Barnes. Her singing ministry has also taken her to many countries and across continents including Jamaica, the Bahamas, Bermuda, several countries in Southern and Southeast Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda), and the East to West Coasts of the U.S.A.
Rev. Carolyn has been extensively recognized and honored. She was featured in the State Newspaper (Columbia, SC) on several occasions, as well as several magazines. Her many awards include The South Carolina House of Representatives Honors and Commendation; the March of Dimes African American Achievement Award; Woman of Valor (Allen University); Legendary Gospel Musician and Master Clinician (Benedict College Harambee Festival); SC Baptist Convention Music Auxiliary Presidential State Music Legend Award; the Renaissance Foundation Gospel Heritage Legacy Award, which was presented by Gospel legend, Dr. Bobby Jones.
In 1992, Rev. Carolyn established the CaBrailSong School of Vocal Arts, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit youth organization in Atlanta, GA. With their move to Columbia, SC the following year, it was reestablished as an arm of outreach ministry for Bethel A.M.E. Church. Created for children, youths, and young adults, many gifted singers have gone on to achieve great success spiritually and in their vocal skills and gifts through college scholarships and recordings. The impact of CaBrailSong teachings has been profound, and has been shared abroad in Bermuda, where fifty youths participated in a Summer Singing Experience, with over twenty of them giving their lives to Christ!
With the election and consecration of her husband to the office of Bishop in July 2016, Rev. Carolyn became the Episcopal Supervisor of the Twentieth Episcopal District in Southeast Africa, where they served the countries of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Uganda. In May of 2018, she was robed as "Mother" of the District in a beautiful ceremony by the Women's Missionary Society.
She also serves as Choir Directress and Worship Leader for the Supervisor's Council of the AME Church.
Celebrating 38 years of blessed marriage and ministry, Supervisor Carolyn and Bishop Brailsford are the proud parents of three children: Veronica-Carol, Ronnie, Jr., and David; and have five precious grandchildren, Harper, Kyndal, Gracen, Dawson and Roman.