TSD Memphis

Thu04242014

Religion

13th District says farewell to Bishop McKenzie

13th District Missionary President Gwen Fugh Dillihunt has hit the ground running. Her first major event is in the books, serving as the event coordinator for the farewell celebration for Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie.

by Valeria Cummings Swope
Specials to the Tri-State Defender

She’s only been in office a few months, but 13th District Missionary President Gwen Fugh Dillihunt has hit the ground running. Her first major event is in the books, serving as the event coordinator for the farewell celebration for Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie.

 
 Hundreds gathered to wish AME Bishop Vashti McKenzie farewell on March 23rd at the Memphis Marriott East. Pictured here (l to r) are husband, Stan McKenzie, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie and brother Carl Murphy. Bishop McKenzie will be reassigned at the National Conference this June in Nashville. (Courtesy photo)

Dillihunt worked with the 13th District’s Presiding Elders, who spearheaded and helped to execute what turned into a heartwarming tribute at the Marriott East Hotel on March 23. Teaming with the Rev. Maxine Thomas from Kentucky, she help plan a program that outlined the eight years of service Bishop McKenzie has given to Kentucky and Tennessee.

State and local officials, representatives from the National Civil Right’s Museum and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, with various leaders within the 13th Episcopal District, paid tribute to Bishop McKenzie for her success as a preacher and church administrator, public servant and civic leader. The occasion was marked by a Tennessee House of Representatives resolution commending “Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie for her many years of devoted public service, saluting her impeccable character and her stalwart commitment to living this life with courage and conviction.”

“We could not have done this without the love and support of the district, pastors and laity alike,” said Dillihunt.

As Episcopal Leader of the 13th District, Bishop McKenzie led the YPD, Missionaries and others on a mission trip to Jamaica where they helped build homes and assisted in clothing children for school, and to Canada to trace the Underground Railroad. During her tenure, she also focused on educating young people on the art of giving back and spearheaded the creation of “Nehemiah Nation” that has men across the district working together in kingdom building.

“This is not goodbye, simply farewell for now,” said Bishop McKenzie. “I’ve seen what this district can achieve and I know great things are still ahead. Now, as we prepare to leave this place, let’s do it in style and slide right out the door.”

With that Bishop McKenzie took the floor and joined everyone in the electric slide.

“A party atmosphere of love and fellowship,” said Dillihunt.  “That’s what this celebration was all about.”

 

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