Vashti Murphy McKenzie
|Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie|
Bishop of the Tenth Episcopal District
May 28, 1947 |
|Parents||Ida Murphy Peters and Edward Smith|
Vashti Murphy McKenzie (born May 28, 1947) is a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. McKenzie is the first female elected as bishop in the denomination's history. She is also the national chaplain of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and the granddaughter of Delta founder Vashti Turley Murphy. Bishop McKenzie is married to retired NBA great Stan McKenzie, and is the mother to Jon-Mikael, Vashti-Jasmine, and Joi-Marie.
McKenzie received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park. Later she received Master of Divinity degree from Howard University and her Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Ohio.
McKenzie received her first ordination in 1984 when she was made an itinerant deacon and appointed to pastor a small church in Chesapeake City, Maryland. She was later ordained an itinerant elder and was sent to pastor in Baltimore. While serving as the pastor of historic Payne Memorial AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland, McKenzie sought election to the office of Bishop in the AME Church. She was elected and consecrated the 117th bishop of the church at the General Conference of 2000. Prior to McKenzie's consecration, no female had ever served in the office of bishop in any predominantly African-American Methodist denomination in America. She currently serves as the presiding prelate of the 10th Episcopal District which encompasses the entire state of Texas. Prior to this appointment, McKenzie was the chief pastor of the 13th Episcopal District from 2004-2012 in Kentucky and Tennessee. In 2005, McKenzie again made history by becoming the first female president of the Council of Bishops of the AME Church, and the Titular head of the Church. The president of the Council of Bishops serves a one year term. Each member of the council serves a term as president, assuming the office in the order in which they were elected. When asked about her the significance of her election to the office of bishop, McKenzie reportedly told Ebony Magazine that the "stained-glass ceiling had been broken."
Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie served as the host of the General Conference in its 49th Quadrennial Session of the AME Church, held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. At this General Conference, she was reappointed to serve as the presiding prelate of the 10th Episcopal District, serving major cities such as Fort Worth, Waco, Dallas, Tyler, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Galveston, Texas; in the Northwest, North, Southwest, and Texas Annual Conferences.
List of works
- Not Without a Struggle: Leadership Development for African American Women in Ministry (1996, revised 2011)
- Strength in the Struggle: Leadership Development for Women (2002)
- Journey to the Well (2003)
- Swapping Housewives: Rachel and Jacob and Leah (2007)
- "Washington National Cathedral : Biography for Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie". Nationalcathedral.org. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
- McGill, Jennifer. Women as Prophets, Preachers, and Priests: Reverend Dr. Vashti Murphy McKenzie, First Woman Bishop in the AME Church. ChickenBones: A Journal for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes.
- Starling, Kelly. (September 2005). First AME Female Bishop In 213 Years. Ebony.
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