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Bishop Vashti McKenzie

First Female Bishop of African Methodist Episcopal Church


Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie serves as the 117th elected and consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Her historic election in the year 2000 represents the first time in the over 200 year history of the A.M.E. Church that a woman had obtained the level of Episcopal office. Currently, she is honored to serve as the presiding prelate of the 13th Episcopal District, which includes Tennessee and Kentucky.

Bishop McKenzie has been appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Council of the White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Payne Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio and the International Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Bishop McKenzie is the author of four 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 latest book, Swapping Housewives, tells the stories of “Rachel,” “Jacob,” and “Leah,” and shares the 21st century implications for married and unmarried love.

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 leaders.

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. She can be heard daily at Daily prayers are available at


Piercing & Breaking the Stained Glass Ceiling

Not Without a Struggle: Leadership Development for African American Women in Ministry

Journey to the Well

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