Born in South America and reared in Panama, Wilbert, as he was called then, accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at the age of thirteen. He served faithfully in his home church and came to the United States to pursue an education. His thirst for knowledge and the things of God took him to Zion Bible Institute, in Providence, Rhode Island; the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a degree in history; the Reformed Presbyterian Seminary and the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he received a Master of Divinity degree.

Bishop McKinley was the recipient of recipient of several post graduate degrees in his quest for understanding the deep truths of the word of God. Archbishop McKinley was a highly anointed servant of God, who loved God and his law. He possessed a keen awareness that God has sovereignly chosen him to champion the cause of Jesus Christ. One of his driving passions was to bring direction and hope to the church, to unveil the mystery which has surrounded the truths of God's word, to bring scholarship and discipline to the black church; and to reach people with the claims of Christ on whatever economic or social strata they may be found.

Bishop McKinley was blessed with an international ministry. He preached across this nation and in several foreign countries. He was a respected expositor, whose diction and theories reflected the many hours of preparation in biblical languages to get a thorough understanding of God's revealed will. 

Bishop McKinley could be classified as a maverick, one who blazed the trail. He was innovative, charismatic, a visionary to be sure, but above all a man who loved God with all his heart, soul and might.