Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the first woman elected to serve as a bishop for the American Methodist Episcopal Church, will be the featured speaker at the Aiken County Branch of the NAACP’s 33rd Freedom Fund Banquet.

“She is a dynamic speaker and a very powerful speaker,” said Philip Howell, the branch’s president. McKenzie also is the national chaplain for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and an ex-officio member of its board, according to the sorority’s website.

“We try to get a good speaker every year for our banquet, and she was at the top of our list,” Howell said.

The banquet will be held on April 11, beginning at 7 p.m., in USC Aiken’s Business and Education Building. The theme for the event is “We Shall Not Be Moved.”

During the banquet, the Aiken County NAACP branch will recognize local organizations for military veterans.

“We want to honor them and let them know that people appreciate them and think about them,” Howell said.

In addition, the winners of the President’s Award and other accolades will be announced.

“It’s one of the most well-attended and entertaining banquets in Aiken,” Howell said. “Last year, people came up to me and told me that it was the best banquet they had ever been to.”

Tickets are $50 each for adults and $30 each for students. For more information, call the local NAACP branch at 803-502-0170 or Ann Dicks at 803-649-4401.

Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since January 2013. A native of Concord, N.C., she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.