The General Board is mandated per The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to make a diligent effort to secure full information concerning the general benevolence and service causes of the Church in order that none be neglected, jeopardized, or excluded.

It is good for every institution to pause in its work to engage in a self-study that evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of its duties and responsibilities to ensure it is fulfilling its mission and to assure its constituency that their resources are being effectively utilized to bring the vision of the organization into reality.

The General Board, in its December 2016 organizational meeting, voted to engage in a self-study. This self-study will be a collaborative process which includes all stakeholders including but not limited to the Council of Bishops, General Officers, Connectional Officers, Seminary, College and University Presidents, and adult and young adult commission members.  Additionally, two persons from each commission were selected to participate. Special attention was given to ensure each Episcopal District had representation.

More than 300 teens and young adults took a 14-question self-study survey at the annual YPD Leadership Training Institute held recently in St Louis, Missouri. Over 200 members of the Connectional Lay Organization participated during the Spring Executive Board meeting. This is a great start!

The Self-Study is only limited by the creativity of its participants and a financial budget. However, clergy and lay leaders are encouraged to broaden the self-study beyond the General Board to the connectional church. You can devise your own survey, hold focus group discussions and share your thoughts at The General Board Self-Study is just an initial strategy to grapple with pertinent issues. Members are encouraged to engage in similar reflective activities about issues that impact your episcopal or presiding elder district, auxiliaries and local congregations.

It is the intent of the self-study to:

  • Look for ways to work better as a General Board with specific outcomes for each annual session
  • Encourage each Executive Director/General Officer and Commission to review its work.
  • Develop new ideas to enhance the work of the connectional department
  • Work to eliminate attitudinal, emotional and resource barriers to progress.
  • Encourage stakeholders to discuss, develop, and implement ways to improve our ministry.

Because it is important that every voice be heard, we will include digital surveys and webinars in addition to the annual meetings of the General Board. Moreover, to minimize the demands of time, the utilization of technology for pre-session and on-site work session is essential.

Remember, this is a collaborative process. It will take all of us to honor God with our service to the Church we love so dear.

To help facilitate our conversations, read Beyond the Wall of Resistance by Rick Maurer. A supplemental resource is also available, Immunity To Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

Thanks to all of the clergy and lay volunteers, who are helping to shepherd this self-study. If there are any questions or concerns, please address share them at

Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie, President, General Board

Bishop McKinley Young, Senior Bishop

Bishop John F. White, President, Council of Bishops

Bishop Clement W. Fugh, Secretary, Council of Bishops

Dr. Jeffrey B. Cooper, General Secretary/Chief Information Officer




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