Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, an assistant pastor at Mother Emanuel AME Church, spent her life making a lasting difference in the lives of young people.

A native of Newark, NJ, where she graduated from Vailsburg High School in 1987, Coleman-Singleton enrolled at S.C. State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology. Outside the classroom, she was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and an award-winning hurdler. She helped propel the SCSU track-and-field team to a conference championship. After completing her undergraduate studies, she went on to attend Montclair State University and obtained a master’s degree in speech language and pathology.

Coleman-Singleton began her professional career as a speech and language pathologist in schools in Georgia, before moving to Goose Creek High School in 2008. Her sports background and love of young people quickly led her to also become the head coach of the girls’ track-and-field team. Over the next seven years she gained a school-wide reputation for encouraging, mentoring and determinedly advocating for the young women she coached.

A faithful Christian, Coleman-Singleton was a lay minister at Mother Emanuel, working with the youth and young adult ministries.

But Coleman-Singleton’s greatest pride was her family, especially her sons and daughter: Christopher, Caleb and Camryn Singleton. A doting mother, she was involved in their education and enjoyed cheering on the Gators at Goose Creek events, as well as for the Buccaneers of Charleston Southern University, where Christopher went on to play baseball..

Among the more than 2,000 mourners at her funeral were South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Civil Rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.