Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie serves as the 117th elected and consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Her historic election in the year 2000 represents the first time in the over 200-year history of the AME Church, a woman had obtained the level of Episcopal office. The firsts continue as she served as the President of the Council of Bishops, Chair of the General Conference Commission and was the Host Bishop for the 49th Session of the General Conference of the AME Church in June 2012 with more than 30,000 in attendance. She is presently the Chair of the Commission on Publications and serves as President of the General Board of the A.M.E. Church.
Currently, she is honored to serve as the presiding prelate of the 10th Episcopal District, which is the entire state of Texas. Bishop McKenzie serves as the Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of Paul Quinn College. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Bishop McKenzie was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the inaugural President’s Advisory Council of the White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She recently was invited to preach at the annual White House Easter Prayer Breakfast at the invitation of President Obama.
Bishop McKenzie is the author of five books. The first two, Not Without A Struggle and Strength in the Struggle concern leadership and professional growth for women. Journey to the Well helps women seek new directions for personal growth and transformation following the footsteps of the Biblical Samaritan woman. Her book, Swapping Housewives, tells the stories of Rachel, Jacob and Leah and shares the 21st century implications for married and unmarried love. A revised updated version of Not Without A Struggle was released in 2012. In 2013, Those Sisters Can Preach! was released. It includes 22 sermons as pearls of wisdom from nationally known preachers who happen to be women. In 2017, Bishop McKenzie released her fifth book, The Big Deal of Taking Small Steps Closer to God.
Bishop McKenzie, well known as an electrifying preacher, has been honored for her leadership, community service, and outstanding achievements by a number of diverse civic, educational, business, and governmental organizations and leaders. She was named by Huffington Post as one of the 50 most powerful women religious leaders in the world.
In February 2012, she launched The Greatest of These is Love mixtape of ten mini-messages as love notes for your soul. Her incredible Praycation is available at www.vashtimckenzie.com along with other upcoming ventures. Look for her forthcoming app on available for iPhones and Android coming 2016.
Bishop McKenzie is humbled and grateful to God for the many opportunities and blessings afforded her as she strives to serve with excellence in the Kingdom of God.