(The Root) — Spelman College’s 2013 co-valedictorians, Kirstie and Kristie Bronner, come from a long line of success as part of America’s prominent family of hair-care entrepreneurs. Their father, Bishop Dale Bronner, is the pastor at one of the largest churches in Atlanta, and both their mother and grandmother preceded them as graduates of the prestigious college for women.
But for the identical twins with an identical grade point average of 4.0, it has been the prayers and not the pressure of family that has propelled them through four years of success.
“Our parents helped build the foundation. We never felt pressure because of the family name,” said Kristie. “We just have this intrinsic motivation to please God. We want to represent God in the best way we can.”
Kirstie recalls her mother’s words as she drove them to elementary school.
“My mother used to tell us, ‘You are the head and not the tail.’ And she would say, ‘You are first and not last.’ She would always tell us, ‘Do your best and trust God to do the rest,’ ” Kirstie said.
As they matriculated through four years of study toward bachelor’s degrees in music at the liberal arts college in Atlanta, prayer was just as much a part of their college life as class work, the twins said.
“Some students only pray when they are about to take a test. We prayed before we studied for tests and as we studied each day, asking God to help us retain the information,” Kristie said.
The sisters plan to work in music ministry on the staff at Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral, the church led by their father. The sisters, both sopranos, also plan to record a contemporary gospel CD and write a book.
“All of our goals are connected to ministry,” Kristie said. The book, she said, will answer questions for teens, young adults and their families. “We want to teach other students the wisdom God has given us along the way,” Kirstie said.
Through Spelman, the twins said they had an opportunity to learn at home and abroad.
They spent the spring semester of their junior year studying in Milan as part of the Institute for the International Education of Students. The semester was the first time since birth that Kirstie and Kristin did not live together or take classes together.