Bishop McKinley Young is a native of Atlanta, a son of the Parsonage and a product of the Public Schools of Atlanta. He received degrees from Morris Brown College, Atlanta; Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, MA; and the University of Chicago Divinity School, Chicago, Il. He holds honorary Doctorates from six schools of Higher Education. Bishop Young pastored churches in the 1st, 4th and 6th Episcopal Districts being elected the 109th Bishop from Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta.
Bishop Young’s first Episcopal assignment was to the 15th District where he led in the Centennial Celebration of African Methodism in Southern Africa. Bishop Young has provided leadership in the Ecumenical Community for over 40 years. From 1996-2000 Bishop Young served as the Ecumenical and Urban Affairs Officer for the AME Church. He served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, the Executive Committee of the National Council of Churches, USA, the World Methodist Council, the Pan Methodist Commission, the Consultation on Church Union and the Conference of National Black Churches. In the 10th District Bishop Young led the church in stabilizing Paul Quinn College which was fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). In the 11th District, Edward Waters College’s accreditation was sustained after taking SACS to Federal Court. Two million dollars was raised by the District to secure EWC’s fiscal solvency. Subsequently, the EWC Foundation was established.
Bishop Young has been involved with AME/SADA for over 20 years and serves as the Chair of the Board. He has served as the President of the Council of Bishops and the General Board. He has chaired the Commissions on Women In Ministry, Global Witness and Ministry and Annuity Investments and Insurance. Presently, he chairs the Commission on Church Growth and Development.
Bishop McKinley Young is the presiding prelate of the 3rd Episcopal District which embraces churches throughout the states of Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania. He also serves as Chancellor of Wilberforce University and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for Payne Theological Seminary.
At the 50th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Bishop McKinley Young was elevated to the office of Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and reassigned to the Third Episcopal District for a second Quadrennium.
Bishop Young is married to Dorothy Jackson Young and the father of; Karyn (Ron) Young-Lowe, Deana (Julius) McAllister, Andrea (Roderick) Jones and Stephanie Lynn Young. Bishop and Mrs. Young are the grandparents of Jennifer Renee and Jessica Christina Lowe, Julius III, Colin and Dylan McAllister, Peyton, Noah and Miles Jones.