Former Richmond Mayor Leonidas Young dies

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Former Richmond mayor Rev. Leonidas Young died Saturday after a brief illness.

Young, 62, was the founder and pastor of the New Kingdom Ministries on Richmond's North Side.

Young previously served on Richmond City Council and was mayor from 1994 to 1996.

In 1999, after he left office, Young was convicted of influence peddling while he was mayor. Additionally, he was convicted of defrauding Fourth Baptist Church where he was pastor.

Last year, Young announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s 74th House of Delegates seat.

"I am not a perfect man, but I am a better man that I used to be," Young said.

Virginia Delegate and attorney Joe Morrissey made this statement on behalf of Young's family:

The family of Leonidas Young II has asked me to make a statement on the passing of their beloved husband, father and son.

On Saturday evening, January 16, 2016, following a gallant and noble fight, Pastor Leonidas Young passed following a short illness. Surrounding him at the time of his death was his beloved wife Sonya, adoring children Erika, Ariel, Leonidas III and his parents. Pastor Young was 62 years old and the Founder and Senior Pastor at New Kingdom Christian Ministries in North Richmond.

Pastor Young was diagnosed in December and fought his battle largely out of the public eye. Very few people knew the severity of his illness. He never complained and instead, worried about others. Indeed, Pastor Young expressed heartfelt prayers that his family, New Kingdom Christian Ministries family and friends would be comforted knowing that he had fought the good fight and was with his Lord.

On a personal note, I would be remiss if I did not say this. Pastor believed in second chances and the value of redemption. After experiences some personal trials and tribulations in the 90’s, Pastor Young returned to Richmond, founded New Kingdom Christian Ministries, got his Civil Rights restored and ran for elective office. What a wonderful, positive and uplifting story.

During my last hospital visit with Lee, although physically frail and weak, Pastor’s voice was strong and resolute. He told me how much he was looking forward to officiating Myrna’s and my wedding in June… we know he will be there. Rest In Peace my dear friend.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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