"But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner."
1 Corinthians 14:40
The Western Episcopal District team has extensive and diverse leadership, program management and administration skills spanning a broad spectrum of fields to support, build and drive a transformative and impactful model of ministry in the Western Episcopal District.
In July 2016, at the Fiftieth General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Staccato Powell was elected the One Hundred and Second Bishop in the line of succession in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ). As the prefect of his episcopal class, Powell was the first Bishop elected out of Eastern North Carolina since the venerable James Walker Hood in 1872.
As the Presiding Prelate of the Western Episcopal District, Bishop Powell oversees churches in the Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon-Washington and Southwest Rocky Mountain Conferences. Having more than 40 years of experience in evangelism, ecumenism, and ecclesial growth, Bishop Staccato Powell, undeniably understands the desires and needs of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
Bishop Powell hails from Hallsboro, North Carolina where he accepted the call to ministry at age 16. Soon after, at age 18, he received his first assignment to pastor. Bishop pastored in several churches in his native North Carolina with his last pastorate at Grace AME Zion in Raleigh. Bishop Powell also served as pastor in a congregation in St. Louis, MO and became the fourth pastor in succession to be elevated to Episcopacy.
Bishop Powell’s ecumenical reach and global evangelism are extensive. As an ecumenist, he served as Vice Chair of the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical Relations for the Presbyterian Church (USA) and as a former board member of the National Board of the Interfaith Alliance, the Balm in Gilead Religious Advisory Board, the National Conference of Community and Justice, the World Methodist Council and the former United States Conference of the World Council of Churches. He also served as Chair and Coordinator of the “Great Gathering,” a collaborative meeting of the historic African American Methodist communions, African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and Christian Methodist Episcopal Churches.
Bishop Powell is currently serving an unprecedented second term on the National Council of Churches Central Committee. He is also a board members of Creation Justice Ministries, and ecoAmerica Blessed Tomorrow Leadership Circle. He is a founding convener of Black Methodist United, an assembly of senior bishops who are committed to addressing issues of social injustice in America, supporting job creation and training programs in the African American community.
Bishop Powell has evangelized on six of the seven continents, with extensive travel in Africa. He has delivered messages to the people of Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, and Egypt. He has attended each World Council of Churches Assembly since the Seventh Assembly held in Canberra, Australia in February of 1991. He also attended each Assembly thereafter, the Eighth Assembly held in Harare, Zimbabwe (December 1998), the Ninth Assembly held in Porto Alegre, Brazil (February 2006), and the Tenth Assembly held in Busan, Republic of Korea in (October/November 2013). Presently, he is Vice Moderator of the 11th Assembly Planning Committee
Bishop Powell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte; a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University; and Doctorate of Jurisprudence degree from North Carolina Central University. He also served as Grand Chaplain for the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
A father of two adult children, Staccato Keithan, pastor of Fisher Chapel AME Zion Church in Phoenix Arizona and Susan Elizabeth Nicole, Missionary Supervisor of the Western Episcopal District, Bishop Powell considers being a father his most cherished role.
A native of Wilson, North Carolina and the youngest child of Staccato and Susan Evans Powell is currently, is the youngest serving missionary supervisor in the AME Zion church and carries the exceptional distinction of being the youngest missionary supervisor ever appointed to the position at age 26. In a unique club of two, Nicole is the second daughter of a Bishop to serve in this capacity.
As Missionary Supervisor, Nicole Powell provides leadership for Christian mission and related ministry work locally and aboard, including her brainchild, the mental health initiative, which is one of four major priorities of the Western Episcopal District. She exemplifies the principles of Christian living guiding the women of the Western Episcopal District in their effort to win the world for Christ and promoting participatory evangelism experiences.
A graduate of Spelman College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with minors in Psychology and Religious Studies and the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Master of Social Work with a specialty in Child Welfare and Well Being, Nicole served as President of the University of Pennsylvania’s Association of Black Social Workers and as the 2nd Vice President for the National Association of Black Social Workers. She is a member of the Ecumenical Education Formation (EEF) Commission for the World Council of Churches as a representative for the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
Nicole currently works as an Outreach Education Specialist for the Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County, Pennsylvania while simultaneously exploring options for doctoral studies.
Mary Margaret Tisdale was born in Welch, West Virginia and raised in Little Rock, South Carolina. Mary supports the work of the Bishop and the ministry and operations of Western Episcopal District by assisting with overall management of the business functions, scheduling for the Bishop and Episcopal events, organizing annual conferences, ensuring pastors are present for Clergy meetings, detailing agendas and programs necessary for the work of the Episcopal District.
Most important to her ministry is her significant responsibilities for representing Bishop Staccato Powell as he serves local, district, conference, regional, national and international communities of believers. She resides in Granite Bay, California and takes pleasure in doing the work of the church. Mary delights in having opportunities to uplift and encourage people that she encounters in her daily workings and finds joy in assisting Bishop Powell as he takes the Western Episcopal District in a new direction in ministry.
Sheila Quintana, an Oakland native and a product of the Oakland Unified School District serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Western Episcopal District. She supports the general management and oversight of the Western Episcopal District’s business functions and assists with its financial management to ensure that the operational, business and ministry efficiency and goals are met.
Dr. Quintana serves the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church on the Connectional Trustee Board, the Codification Commission, which oversees The 2016 Book of Discipline (the Constitution and Laws of the AMEZ Church), the Quadrennial Site Committee, and the Compilations Committee. During the 50th Session of the General Conference in 2016, she served as the Chair of the Secretariat.
In the Western Episcopal District and the California Annual Conference, she serves a District and Conference Trustee. In her home church, Kyles Temple AME Zion in Vallejo, CA, she serves as the Chair of the Trustee Board, Lay Council Membership Chair, and as a consecrated Deaconess.
As an exceptional education administrator, D. Quintana was the assistant principal of Calvin Simmons Middle School in Oakland, CA, principal of Havenscourt Middle School in Oakland, CA, the principal of Solano Middle School in Vallejo, CA, and the principal of Berkeley Technology Academy (BTA) in Berkeley, CA.
Dr. Quintana is currently the very proud principal of Vallejo High School in Vallejo, CA. She oversees 1500 students, five vice principals, 80 teachers, 30 support staff, and a $12 million budget.
From 1998 to 2004, she was elected the President of the Oakland Education Association (OEA) in Oakland, CA, responsible for negotiating and the implementation of salary and benefit contracts, which impacted the 4000 teacher members, the 54,000 students, and the 106 schools in the Oakland Unified School District. She managed several employees at OEA and a $3 million per year budget. She served as the first African American Chair of Negotiations for the California Teachers Association (CTA) Negotiations Committee, which represented 330,000 teacher members and 1000 California school districts contracts.
Dr. Quintana attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA where she received her B.A. Degree and Life Time Teaching Credential. She received her Administrative Credential in 2005 and her Masters in Educational Leadership from California State University, East Bay in 2007. In 2015, she received a joint doctorate in Educational Leadership with University of California, Davis and Sonoma State University. She served as an active member of Alpha Nu Omega, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., in Oakland, CA for many years until she transferred to Kappa Beta Omega, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., in 2015. In 2017, she was inducted in the Solano County Chapter of Links, Inc., in Vallejo, CA.
Charles Blackmon serves as the legal counsel for the Western Episcopal District. He focuses his private legal practice primarily on non-profit, business, and entertainment matters.
Prior to starting C.K. Blackmon Associates in September 2018, Mr. Blackmon was a member of Tuggle Duggins, PA and Gray Johnson & Blackmon, LLP as well as a founding partner with the law offices of Whitfield & Blackmon, LLP in Greensboro handling a variety of practice areas. He was an associate attorney with the firm of Dessen Moses & Sheinoff in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before then, concentrating in labor and employment law.
Mr. Blackmon is a member of the North Carolina and Pennsylvania State Bars, American Bar Association, M&F Bank Piedmont Triad Advisory Board, Bethel AME Church Board of Trustees, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Board of Trustees, Downtown Greensboro, Inc. Board of Directors, Malachi House II Board of Directors Chairman, North Carolina Central University School of Law Board of Visitors, Greensboro Metro YMCA Board of Directors, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Boulé, North Carolina American Cancer Society Board, Greensboro Bar Association Board of Directors, Salvation Army/Boys and Girls Club Advisory Council, Greensboro Legal Aid Society Advisory Board, North Carolina Central University School of Law Alumni Association Board, and Sickle Cell Disease Association of the Piedmont Board. Additionally, he has lectured regularly on business and entertainment issues.
His clients include: North Carolina A&T University Foundation, Inc., Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Bennett College, Greensboro Housing Development Partnership, Core Technology, and R&R Transportation, Inc.
Mr. Blackmon obtained his B.S. in Industrial Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his law degree from the North Carolina Central University School of Law. In his spare time Mr. Blackmon enjoys reading and fitness training. He resides in Greensboro, North Carolina with his wife, Mable Hubbard Blackmon, and their daughter, Chloe.
Mario Powell, a native of Hallsboro, North Carolina serves is the founder of the KIDZ4Christ Early Learning Centers, Incorporated, the model “We Learn by Doing” has been the catalysis for success across the Western Episcopal District.
Mario received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a Minor in English from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University-1995. He taught both fourth and fifth grades within the Richmond City Public Schools District in the Commonwealth of Virginia and has worked with various education reform models including the Council for Basic Education-District of Columbia. A resident of Columbia, Maryland, Mario and his wife Trina Powell enjoy educating youth in Baltimore City, Maryland.
Sandra K. Davis, a native of New Orleans Louisiana, Sandra was raised in Sacramento, California and serves as the President of the Board of Trustees for the AME Zion Western Episcopal District, serves as Director of Christian Education for the Western Episcopal District. In this capacity, she is responsible for coordinating special projects, guides the organization in public policy and administration, interacts with governmental agencies, analyses data driven ministries and other metrics.
Sandra served much of her career in public service at University of California, Davis, Sacramento, California, San Joaquin County Health Care Services and San Joaquin General Hospital in Stockton, California. She also served as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Stockton, California. Her civic life included running for San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. Helping those who need service the most has been a major part of Sandra’s career and ministries.
County government provided Sandra an opportunity to serve in diverse roles. Her basic training as a registered nurse launched a formidable career in the healthcare industry. She managed and supervised employees, lead continuous performance improvement activities in the industry, and became skilled in writing departmental policies and procedures. In addition, she led multiple regulatory review efforts, diverse interdepartmental relations, coordinated inter-collegial projects while fostering dynamic community relations. As a healthcare executive she participated in committees, boards and efforts that improved the quality of life of those she served.
When teaching, she enjoys teaching Sunday School, evidence-based practice, research and statistics that healthcare providers can understand. She is skilled in budget preparation, monitoring and evaluation. Dr. Davis also served as President of the largest healthcare executive organization in the California.
Sandra earned a PhD, from University of California, San Francisco, Masters and BSN from California State University, Sacramento. Family, quietly reading and proudly enjoying three children, Ken Jr., Jermaine, Kortny, and two grandsons, Dave and Dylan bring her great joy.
Dr. Thomas completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Fresno Pacific University. She went on to Fuller Theological Seminary to earn her Masters in Psychology, Masters in Theology and Ministry, and Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. Her areas of research and expertise include substance abuse; poverty; multicultural issues; spirituality and health; program planning, development and evaluation; and integrated medical and behavioral health care. Dr. Thomas and her team have organized MHAI programming and resource distribution for designated areas concerning mental health. She is also active in organizing Mental Health Resource Rooms in local churches in the Western Episcopal District with the goal of reaching underserved and marginalized communities.
Dr. Thomas is also the founder and owner of Allay Psychological Services in Fresno, CA, which provides affordable mental health services to individuals and families of diverse backgrounds. Apart from her clinical roles, Dr. Thomas is an ardent musician. She serves as Minister of Music at her local church where her father served as pastor for nearly a decade.