24 Mar 2011
- Written by Terry Schlichenmeyer
Special to the Tri-State Defender
Memphis and the entire 13th District of the AME Church showed some love to Supervisor Stan McKenzie, the husband of Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, last week.
“You didn’t have to do it but you did,” said Bishop McKenzie.
Stan McKenzie, supervisor of missions for the 13th District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, accepted the well-wishes of fellow ballers, fraternity brothers and church leaders at an appreciation luncheon hosted by the district’s Women’s Missionary Society. The event held Friday (March 18) at the Memphis Marriott East was part of the district’s three-day Mid-Year Convocation, which was headquartered at St. Andrew AME on South Parkway.
William Anderson, Athletic Director at The LeMoyne-Owen College, brought gifts from LOC and Soulsville, along with a letter from Lionel Hollins, head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. Mentioning March Madness (the NCAA basketball tournament) and the fact that McKenzie had a 71 percent free throw average, Hollins in his letter asked for tips to helpthe Grizzlies out at the line.
“Aim straight,” quipped McKenzie, an 11th round choice in the 1966 NBA Draft and said to still hold the record for the most consecutive free throws. Between 1966-1974, he played guard for the Baltimore Bullets, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trailblazers and Houston Rockets.
A native of Miami, McKenzie graduated from New York University and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. So it was natural that Brad Thomas, president of the Alpha Delta Lambda Chapter in Memphis, would be present with accolades. He spoke about Supervisor McKenzie’s missions in Jamaica and Haiti, his NBA career, his membership in the NAACP, 100 Black Men and other organizations and his awards, which include the Jesse Owens Lifetime Achievement Award. Thomas presented a proclamation from National President Herman “Skip” Mason Jr. Afterwards nearly a dozen fraternity brothers, most AME conference delegates and members, rose for a group photo.
Quintin Robinson, another fraternity brother and a former reporter and Human Resources department employee for The Commercial Appeal, delivered the keynote address on behalf of Mayor AC Wharton. The mayor was called out of town unexpectedly and designated Robinson, director of the City of Memphis Division of Human Resources, to take his place.
National NAACP Chairman Rosalyn Brock sent greetings as well, delivered by a local member of the NAACP. Music was provided by Alfred Rudd and Company. Soloists were Wyndie Oh Henry of Memphis, the Rev. Chris Wilson and Fred Francis.
Memphis’ Lesa Halfacre, president of the 13th District’s Women’s Missionary Society of the AME Church, introduced McKenzie, calling him a “supervisor of missions made for this mission.”
“He has the confidence to stay out of step when everyone is marching out of tune,” said Halfacre.
Together, Bishop McKenzie and Supervisor McKenzie have been credited with transforming the 13th district, which covers the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. He noted that they came to the district eight years ago and that their service will end on July 4, 2012. An acknowledged visionary, he thanked everyone for going the extra mile and, in some cases, the third and fourth mile.
Bishop McKenzie commended him for his work assisting Tennessee flood victims as well as those in need in Haiti. Supervisor McKenzie, she said, has put an AME Face to doing good works beyond the walls of the sanctuary, both in leadership and his work with AME youth.
Thanking him for his “followship,” Bishop McKenzie said the two had been together for 43 years.