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Pel Bay minister retires

Even though he was involved in a Pelham Bay church for only three years, Rev. Leon Matthias’ tenure marks a period during which the congregation’s community outreach thrived.

A minister for over 35 years, first in the Virgin Islands and for the past nine years in New York City, Rev. Matthias became came pastor of Tremont Terrace Moravian Church on Pilgrim Avenue in 2006.

Matthias was appointed by Bishop Stanley Thomas, who also tapped him to head up the Moravian Church’s youth ministry efforts all around the New York metro region.

Matthias, who is retiring because of health concerns, said that one of his most rewarding times during his ministry at Tremont Terrace was in putting together support to bring food and cooking services to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church’s food pantry and soup kitchen in Westchester Square.

“Since I have been here, I have encouraged people to become involved in the soup kitchen in St. Peter’s Church in Westchester Square,” Matthias said. “We have a cook and two servers from our church who go to St. Peter’s every Thursday.”

Rev. Matthias said that by working together with another congregation the church was able to create a youth choir of children from both the membership of Tremont Terrace Moravian Church, but mainly from outside of it.

“We have a children’s choir here and the important thing to note is not all the children who come are members of the church,” the reverend said. “They are encouraged by Joyce Darius, who brings them to church every Sunday.”

Matthias said that he would continue his work in giving communion once a month to the homebound around the Bronx, and at the Laconia Senior Center.

As for his time with the congregation founded in 1929, he considers it a gift from God.

“I have enjoyed every minute of my ministry here at Tremont Terrace Moravian Church,” he said.

The interim pastor of the house of worship is Lynette McRae.

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