Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie is the 117th elected and consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She is the first female elected to episcopal office in the AME Church and is the first female to serve as President of the Council of Bishops and President of the General Board. While serving as Presiding Prelate of the 10th District (Texas), she also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Paul Quinn College, Dallas, Texas and served with such distinction that at the end of her tenure, the Board voted to rename the Chapel on Campus, The Vasthi Murphy McKenzie Chapel. She has led doctoral cohorts in Adaptive Leadership at Payne Seminary and has most recently been selected to serve as The Director of Documentaries. She recently retired from active service in the AME Church at the 51st Quadrennial session of the General Conference.
Bishop McKenzie has been active with leadership, education, women’s issues and champions social justice issues. She was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama to be on the inaugural Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnership. The White House Office of Faith- Based and Neighborhood Partnerships worked on behalf of Americans committed to improving their communities, no matter their religious or political beliefs. She was named by Huffington Post in 2014 as one of the 50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders in the World.
She is the founder of Selah Leadership Encounters for Women, a wraparound multi- disciplinary approach to resourcing women who want to level up their professional and personal lives. In this COVID era, Selah, The Home Edition is streamed on Facebook and YouTube monthly.
She is the author of six books including Not Without a Struggle and Journey to the Well. Her newest book is The Big Deal of Taking Small Steps to Move Closer to God. The book shows how to develop a stronger relationship with God and more effective spiritual lifestyle by taking small steps that lead to big changes. Download the Book Club Guide from her App Praycation.
She has preached and taught globally in Africa, Europe and across the United States. She is the founder of Selah, a leadership empowerment community for women. She also is a workshop/seminar instructor for businesses and a variety of organizations on the topics of women, leadership, spirituality and self-care.
She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, Howard University, School of Religion and has an earned doctorate from United Theological Seminary.
She is the mother of three grown children and Nina to two.