Powell leads Board of Bishops

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Appointment covers oversight of church membership on six continents

 SALISBURY –Bishop Staccato Powell, presiding prelate of the Western Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AME Zion) and a member of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees, has been elevated to president of the Board of Bishops.

The new appointment was made during the AME Zion Annual Winter Board of Bishops Meeting, where bishops from across the United States as well as Central Southern, Western and Eastern West Africa were in attendance.

“It’s humbling to occupy this pinnacle privilege at such a seminal moment in time,” Powell said. “I look forward to serving the denomination in this new leadership capacity, propelling Zion into a new decade of service and kingdom building.”

As president, Powell will serve as head of the 12-member Board of Bishops, which provides oversight for the global AME Zion Church. He will continue to serve as presiding prelate of the church’s Western Episcopal District, which includes California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado and Arizona.

“As shepherd of the vast six state western region, my overarching mandate has been to make sure that our church’s number one task is to be good stewards of that which God has entrusted to us,” Powell said. “That mandate covers concerns ranging from community development opportunities and economic growth to mental health initiatives and environmental justice. We expect to continue our work and to expand its impact throughout the length and breadth of the 1.4 million member AME Zion Church and beyond.”

Powell has identified four principle priorities to propel the church forward during his presidency:

  • Evangelistic Expansion by purposefully planting churches, producing disciples, practicing Christian principles and participating in perpetual prayer;
  • Ecumenical Effectiveness by enhancing collaborative efforts among other communions and denominations;
  • Environmental Engagement by raising awareness of the responsibility for being custodians of God’s creation restoring ecological balance; and
  • Economic Equity by proactively building generational wealth for individuals, institutions, and communities.

During the 2016 quadrennial session of the AME Zion General Conference, Powell was elected the first of his episcopal class. According to a spokesperson, “Those who have been exposed to Bishop Powell’s dynamic pastoral leadership, attended his riveting revivals and participated in his instructional forums, seminars and workshops over the years, have experienced the ‘Staccato Effect.’ The ‘Staccato Effect’ came about because of the bishop’s clear, crisp, compelling and concrete directional teachings about confronting and conquering life challenges.”

A native of Hallsboro, NC, Powell was raised on a farm and in a God-fearing family. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte; the North Carolina Central University School of Law; and Duke University Divinity School. He is a recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Livingstone College.

Powell is the proud father of two adult children, who are also following career paths in the AME Zion Church.

The Los Angeles Sentinel contributed to this report.


About Livingstone College

Livingstone College is a private historically black college that is secured by a strong commitment to quality instruction, academic excellence and student success. Through a Christian-based environment suitable for holistic learning, Livingstone provides excellent business, liberal arts, STEAM, teacher education and workforce development programs for students from all ethnic backgrounds designed to promote lifelong learning, and to develop student potential for leadership and service to a global community. For more information, visit www.livingstone.edu.


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