Vashti Murphy McKenzie, AME Church’s First Female Bishop, Talks About Her Upcoming Selah Leadership Encounters for Women Event in Texas and How She Hopes to Provide ‘Empowerment Opportunities’ for Women Leaders

The first woman to be consecrated a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church will be hosting an event aimed at empowering women leaders.

Known as the Selah Leadership Encounter for Women, the event will be hosted by Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie at the Omni Hotel in Frisco, Texas, Nov. 21-23 and is expected to draw an estimated 250 attendees.

In an interview with The Christian Post on Friday, Bishop McKenzie said the annual event was based on previous “empowerment opportunities” that she has been providing for years, going back to when she was a pastor.

“It has grown and morphed into several different forms,” added McKenzie, who noted that the event is held annually in both the Dallas Metroplex and in Atlanta, Georgia.

The theme for this year’s Encounter event is “Own It,” which involves women owning their “spiritual gifts,” “past,” and “purpose.”

“Our goal is to help women to take a look at where they have been, understand the lessons learned, all the mistakes, all the successes, and then try to recalibrate, if necessary, where you need to go into the coming year,” said McKenzie, who believes it’s important to “dream big, go home, and get it done.”

“Use this time in November and December to really do some quality thinking, quality preparing, so that when you do wake up on January 2nd, you have an outline, a plan of what you would like to achieve and where you want to go.”

Making history

Elected as the first female bishop in the AME Church’s history in 2000, McKenzie also became the first woman to serve as president of the denomination’s Council of Bishops.

At present, she serves as the presiding prelate of the Tenth Episcopal District of the AME Church, a regional body that covers the state of Texas.

Regarding her historic election as bishop, McKenzie noted that one of the important experiences she had was learning “how to campaign” and to “get the message out about who you are” as well as “what your ministry is about.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski

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