Bishop Carolyn Tyler-Guidry Discusses Ministry, Outreach and Political Action

Bishop Carolyn Tyler-Guidry Discusses Ministry, Outreach and Political Action


Bishop Carolyn Tyler-Guidry is distinguished by her contributions to ministry, outreach and political action.  She is esteemed for breaking through many spheres once thought impossible for women.  She was the first female appointed to a major metropolitan church within the African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E), the first female appointed to presiding elder in the Fifth Episcopal District A.M.E. Church and was elected as the second female bishop in the A.M.E. Church. The communities she serves have changed for the better because of her work with the NAACP, One Church One Child, and numerous other civic organizations.

Politic365 recently spoke with Bishop Guidry to gain insight on issues currently facing the church and surrounding communities.

Politic365: What service should the church provide to its congregation and community?

Bishop Guidry: The church serves people 7 days a week. It is not just an 11:00am on Sunday morning entity. If it is, then it is not serving its purpose.  The church has to feed people spiritually and physically whatever it takes. A person’s whole life has to be ministered to in some way and the church has the responsibility to do that. The church sometimes has to become the voice for the voiceless.  Churches in my district and everywhere are suffering.  Someone has to speak out for those who have no voice.

Poltic365: What responsibilities do you carry as the chair of the Social Action Committee of the A.M.E. Church?

Bishop Guidry: My responsibility as chair of the Social Action Committee of the A.M.E. Church is to be aware of issues that are affecting the people in our congregations and our communities; to make the church aware of the issues and to be the voice of the church that speaks to the larger community.

We do not tell people how to vote or who to vote for, but we certainly encourage people to vote. The Bible notes we are to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Paying taxes and voting are things that are required by Caesar, by the government and by those that are in charge of the government.  We encourage people to participate in the process because the laws that are made affect everyday living.

Politic365: Tell us about community initiatives that have defined your ministry.

Bishop Guidry: During one of my first pastoring assignments I went into a community with a small black populous that did not interact in local government. I felt it was my responsibility as the pastor and for the congregation that I served to become a voice for them. We started an organization called Unity Center for Human Development.  The organization was both political and educational.  Under that organization we started a day care center, advocated for street lighting, sidewalks and parks in our community.  We became the voice of prayer at city council and school board meetings in order to make a difference for the people who lived there.

At another congregation where I pastored, in addition to a daycare center we operated a feeding program that fed senior citizens of limited income.  We started a feeding program at Thanksgiving but continued on a weekly basis because homelessness was beginning to grow in the community. We begin to see it was not just men but whole families that were homeless.  As a pastor, I felt that these activities were necessary for the church to carry out.

Politic365: Does the current economy change the role of the church?

Bishop Guidry: If we look at scripture the religious leaders and the church have always been involved in the everyday life of people. Today’s church is no different.  We minister on Sunday morning, but we also have to be there throughout the week whenever the need arises.  People are not compartmentalized in their living. They are whole people, so what affects them on Monday morning also affects them on Sunday morning. The Bible says it is not enough to say to a man that is cold or hungry be warmed and fed unless you also provide clothes for him or food for him. It is not enough to say to a person get a job unless you do something to allow them to get that job.

Bishop Carolyn Tyler-Guidry is the Bishop for the Eighth Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church. In this capacity she serves as bishop to over 264 churches in Mississippi and Louisiana.  She holds a master’s of theology degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, is a life member of the NAACP and a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated.  She is the mother of six children, grandmother of twelve and great-grandmother of two.


  1. Dear Bishop Carolyn in Christ! Please have warm greetings from KENYA this
    evening! we have carefully read your website and for sure we are very much
    interested in connecting with you for spiritual growth.We are a small
    fellowship and thus we have kindly invited you to our village,and in our
    Church to preach to us .So please pray for us to get Bibles and consider
    our kind invitation to KENYA.We trust in prayer you are going to be a
    great blessing with your team both spiritually and physically to our
    people this new year. Blessings and prayers ,as I look forward to receive your warm
    reply soon.Loving you all in His work Phone
    +254715392288 Jesus PO BOX 293 [code 4024] OGEMBO KISII

    Hyline Moraa

  2. Praise the Lord Bishop Carolyn,
    Am so much blessed to read your website and i thank
    God for leading us this far from Africa to you.Am brother James from
    Kenya i lead a small church and i take care of some abandoned orphans.We
    do church services,outreaches and seminars.We kindly ask you to pray
    for us and assist us to grow spiritually.We kindly request you to help
    us to have some bibles in our native,internet access to you(have used
    cyber cafe to write to you) and essentials for the orphans.We highly
    invite you to visit us and share with us more about the word of God.We
    value your prayers most.
    We love you all,
    Brother James(Lead pastor]