The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

February 15, 2013

Todd Staples writes book about borders


PALESTINE — Special guest to visit church

Vashti Murphy McKenzie, who serve as the 117th elected and consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will be the guest speaker at the 11 a.m. Sunday worship service at Grant Chapel AME Church, 708 W. South St. in Palestine.

Her historic election in the year 2000 represents the first time in the over 213-year history of the AME Church, a woman had obtained the level of Episcopal office. Currently, she serves as the presiding prelate of the 10th Episcopal District, which includes the state of Texas.

She previously served as the presiding bishop of the 13th Episcopal District, Tennessee and Kentucky and the 18th Episcopal District in Southern Africa. In each district she initiated innovative ministry from building three group homes for children orphaned by AIDS in Swaziland to Believe Inc. a faith-based non-profit to help resource local congregations and provide scholarships.

McKenzie was appointed to serve on the Advisory Council of the White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships by President Barack Obama in 2009. She is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustee of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, and also is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Theological Center in Atlanta, Ga.

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.

McKenzie, described 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. McKenzie’s messages and prayers can be read and heard at

The Rev. John Henry Holmes Jr. is the pastor of Grant Chapel AME Church.

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