Retired Episcopal Supervisor Stanley McKenzie (1944-2021)
Nashville, TN (TN Tribune)—Born on October 6, 1944, Supervisor McKenzie was a graduate of New York University. He was a high scorer and star player and later was inducted into the NYU Hall of Fame. He also studied International Law at the University of Perugia in Italy. McKenzie is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Jesse Owens Life Time Achievement Award from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Drafted into the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1966, McKenzie played guard for many years on several teams: the Baltimore Bullets, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trailblazers, and Houston Rockets. An NBA multi-record holder, McKenzie still held the record for “Most Free Throws,” taken in one quarter, beating out basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain.
After retiring from the NBA, he spent more than two decades in human resources and personnel services. He served in managerial positions with several corporations handling day-to-day operations, overseeing a multi-million dollar budget, writing U. S. government proposals, supervising and training staff, contract negotiations, client relations, and streamlining and implementing security procedures.
From 2000-2021, Stan McKenzie served as an Episcopal Supervisor of Missions and Children’s Work of the Women’s Missionary Society in the 18th, 13th, and 10th Episcopal Districts. He became the first male Supervisor in the over 200-year history of the AME Church when his wife, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie was elected the first female bishop in 2000.
He served as the Supervisor of Missions from 2000 to 2004 in the Eighteenth Episcopal District, which includes Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, and Mozambique. He instituted an entrepreneur program to teach youth and young adults business skills to help them in a failing economic environment. He provided start-up funds for seven new businesses such as chicken farming, brick and candle making in Southeast Africa. The profits helped build new churches and mission houses as well as helped expand existing church infrastructure.
Supervisor McKenzie also served from 2004-2012 as Supervisor of Missions in the 13th Episcopal District that includes the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. He and Bishop McKenzie led the missionaries to fill 11 tractor-trailers and vans with food, clothing, and water for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Supervisor McKenzie has created a ministry strategy to meet the needs of youth and adults across the state of Texas. Thousands of missionaries and young people have participated in A. M. E. Cares Day, a statewide initiative that develops community service projects beyond the sanctuary walls. In addition, the Alternative Spring Break provides an opportunity for middle and high school students to do a mission project during their spring vacation from school. This year students spent three days in West, Texas, helping cleanup efforts to the city recently ravaged by a fertilizer plant explosion.
Under Supervisor’s leadership, the WMS offered a $10,000 scholarship to an AME graduating high school senior to Paul Quinn College. He was also the Special Advisor to TenthFuture, Inc., the 501 (c)3 non-profit of the 10th Episcopal District that helps raise funds through an annual golf tournament for scholarships for students at Paul Quinn, community, and church service projects.
Supervisor McKenzie led a diverse missionary ministry that includes outreach and emergency assistance through clothes, food drives, soup kitchens, and holiday basket distributions. During the 10th District’s Super Summer Convocation each year, Supervisor McKenzie helped develop shared learning experiences geared towards young people to help them develop leadership skills and grow in faith. The Elnita McClain House in Houston is also a missionary project that serves as an outreach facility serving the community’s needs on a variety of issues. In addition to sponsoring blood donation drives, walks, health fairs, and other wellness programs, the WMS also supports the work of missions internationally. One year they provided dresses for children in Liberia and contributed to funds for mission work in Malawi and Zimbabwe.
He was an active member of many organizations, including 100 Black Men, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the NBA Players Association.
Supervisor McKenzie died on July 21, 2021. A devoted family man, he leaves to cherish his memory his wife of over 40 years, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, their children: John McKenzie, Vashti-Jasmine Saint-Jean (Amos), and Joi-Marie Lewis (Anton) and two grandchildren.