Vashti Murphy McKenzie

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Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie
Vashti Murphy McKenzie.jpg
Bishop of the Tenth Episcopal District
Born (1947-05-28) May 28, 1947 (age 72)
Spouse(s)Stan McKenzie
Parent(s)Ida Murphy Peters and Edward Smith

Vashti Murphy McKenzie (born May 28, 1947) is a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and author of five books. In 2000, McKenzie became the first female to be elected as bishop in the denomination's history.[1] She later served as President of the Council of Bishops, becoming the first woman to serve as Titular head of the AME Church.[2] She currently serves the 13th Episcopal District.[3]

Prior to becoming bishop, she served for ten years as the pastor at Payne Memorial AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland. [4] She was ordained in 1984, while attending Howard University School of Divinity where she obtained her Masters of Divinity. She later completed a Doctorate in Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Ohio.

She has written several books on leadership for women in ministry, including Not Without A Struggle, and Strength in the Struggle.[5] She is also the national chaplain of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Her grandmother, Vashti Turley Murphy, was one of the founders of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 1913, when she was a student at Howard University.[6]

Bishop McKenzie is married to retired NBA player Stan McKenzie, and is mother to Jon-Mikael, Vashti-Jasmine, and Joi-Marie.


  1. ^ "Washington National Cathedral : Biography for Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie". Archived from the original on 2012-01-15. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  2. ^ "Meet Our Bishop". Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  3. ^ "McKenzie, Vashti M." 2005. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  4. ^ Goodstein, Laurie (July 12, 2000). "After 213 Years, A.M.E Church Elects Fisrt Woman as Bishop". New York Times. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  5. ^ "Strength in the Struggle | Leadership Development for Women (McKenzie)". The Pilgrim Press. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  6. ^ "Be Strong! The Life and Times of Vashti Turley Murphy Co-founder Delta Sigma Theta Sorority". Amazon. Retrieved July 29, 2019.

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