Famous Black Sorority Members – Bishop Vashti Murphy

In celebration of Black History Month, Sigma Upsilon Nu, SL Sorority would like to educate our peers on some of the worlds most powerful, creative, and fabulous women of African decent, who are also members of Greek-Letter Organizations.

Today, we would like to shine the spotlight on Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie.


Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, presiding prelate of the Thirteenth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 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, in which a woman had obtained that level of Episcopal office. In 2004, she again made history becoming the first woman to become the Titular Head of the denomination, as the president of the Council of Bishops. She served her one year term that made her the highest-ranking woman in the predominately Black Methodist denominations.

Bishop McKenzie is honored to serve as the presiding prelate of the 13th Episcopal District which includes the State of Tennessee and Commonwealth of Kentucky. Her husband, Stan McKenzie serves as the Supervisor of Missions.

She is launching an innovative agenda designed to rebuild lives, churches and communities through several new ministries. The Nehemiah Nation, a men’s service ministry; Living Well Everyday, a health and wholeness emphasis; A.M.E. Works Day, community service projects, School of the Prophets, enrichment and educational training; as well as developing good spiritual habits and the non-profit arm, Believe, Inc. bring a fresh wind to fan the embers of faith to build positively on the past, lay a foundation for the future and work diligently in the present.

Bishop McKenzie has been honored for her community service, outstanding achievement and being a religious role model by a number of diverse civic, educational, business and governmental leaders. She is also the National Chaplain for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. an international public service organization and life member of the NAACP. She has received honorary doctorates from Howard University, Wilberforce University, Morgan State University and Goucher College.

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.

(Bio Taken from the Washington National Cathedral. Read more of this bio at the National Cathedral Website)

Not only is Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., but is the granddaughter of one of the 22 founders – Vashti Turley Murphy.




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