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Published on November 4th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Benedict College Alumnus David Bratton Winner of the 2014 Dove Award for His Gospel Hit “Every Praise”

Contributing Writer: Kendrick Sparks, Mass Communications Intern

BrattonColumbia, SC–David Bratton, recent recipient of the 2014 Dove Award for “Urban Contemporary Song of the Year” for his hit gospel song “Every Praise’, is not just a minister, songwriter/singer, producer, and musician, he is also a Benedict alumnus.

John David Bratton (his full name) graduated from Benedict College in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration. During his four-year scholastic journey, Bratton was fully involved in academics, but he reserved time out for extracurricular pursuits. He joined the Benedict College Gospel Choir, later becoming one of the directors; and you might say the rest is history. Not quite. During a recent interview with Mr. Bratton, we asked some poignant questions.

When asked to describe a real life situation that inspired him, he said, “My family history of diabetes has pushed me to chase after God, and to express my gifts threw my music.”

Bratton said Benedict College matured him. He had some very tough, but caring professors who challenged him to be the best he could be.  “Mr. David Kennley in the Business Department really made me grow up during my time at Benedict,” he said.

Bratton met his wife of 30 years at Benedict College. “I was the Benedict Gospel Choir musician. She came to rehearsal,” he said. “I thought she was cute. I stalked her for two years before I asked her out.”

Being a father, husband, musician, songwriter, and teacher can be challenging, but Bratton says, “My family goes with me wherever I go, my wife sings for me, my sons play for me, my kids are involved in everything I do.

Benedict College has served as a higher education base, not only for Mr. Bratton and his wife, Mrs. Valena Martinez Bratton (Class of 1986), but his children as well. Daughter, Briana Bratton graduated in December 2010, and son, John Bratton, who is currently serving in the Benedict College Student Government Association as Mr. Senior, is majoring in accounting.

It is truly a family affair. Bratton’s mother, Mrs. Mamie Jones Bratton (Class of 1954) and his in-laws, Mr. Lopez Martinez and Mrs. Eleanor Dennis Martinez (both Class of 1951) are also Benedict College alumni.

When asked what advice he could give young musicians and songwriters, he graciously replied, “Get into relationship with God, and He will open doors. If you put God first you’re going to win. If you keep him last you’re going to lose. You can’t see failure in the process; you got to know you’re doing your assignment.”

He said the experience of winning the Dove Award for the “Urban Contemporary Song of the year, for Every Praise was absolutely crazy! “I was blessed to be there, had a great experience, and since then I’ve sent out five songs to so many artist.”

Recorded by Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Every Praise spent a year on the Billboard Top Gospel Airplay chart (with over 26 weeks at #1). The hit song has been translated into 15 different languages and is sung during worship in over 30 countries. On October 25, 2014 Bratton gathered a 200 voice choir and a host of worshippers for “Every Praise Live,” a Worship Movement Experience and recording session at York College, Jamaica, New York.

For more information, please visit: You can follow him on Twitter – @Gods_Blueprint and Facebook –


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