WTVR is reporting that Rev. Leonidas B. Young, II, who served as the the 7th District City Councilman from 1992-1999 and as the 74th mayor of Richmond from 1994-1996, died Saturday.
One of the area politicians whose indiscretions helped make Richmond government a punchline in the late 1990s/early 2000s as the city burned around them, Young was once considered to have a bright future until his felony convictions in 1999:
After a two-year investigation, federal officials charged him with 19 counts related to using his position as mayor and pastor to peddle influence and commit fraud. On the day his trial was to start, Young pleaded guilty to four counts. He resigned from the City Council the same morning, and Fourth Baptist Church soon ousted him.
Young pleaded guilty to the four charges, which involved peddling influence when he was mayor and committing fraud as pastor of Fourth Baptist Church. Prosecutors contended Young committed the crimes to support an expensive lifestyle of extramarital affairs.
Young served time for the convictions, and later founded New Kingdom Christian Ministries on Dill Avenue in Northside.
Pastor Young earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology (Urban Studies, Administration and Public Relations) from Virginia Union University in Richmond Virginia (1974-1978) and a Masters of Divinity from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey (1980-1982). In 1996, the Board of Visitors at the University of Richmond conferred upon him the Honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree. He also served at the Department of Planning and Grants in East Orange, New Jersey (1983-1989).
At the age of seventeen he began to carry out the call God placed on his life. He is third generation clergy, having been preceded in ministry by his grandfather, William Amos Young and great grandfather, Cosmos Young. He was ordained at Fifth Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia (March 1975) then under the pastorate of Rev. Kelly. His first message was entitled, “God’s Contract With Man”. His first pastorate was at Bethel Baptist Church (1975-1979). Leonidas Young was the youngest pastor of the oldest black Baptist church in Gloucester County, Virginia. After serving at Bethel Baptist Church, he ventured north to East Orange, New Jersey and became pastor of New Hope Baptist Church (1979-1989). After serving at New Hope Baptist Church, he returned home and was installed as pastor of Fourth Baptist Church [on P Street], where he served for over nine years (1989-1999).
Dr. Young’s career spans local and national levels. He served as Councilman of the 7th District City of Richmond and was elected to the office of Mayor, being the youngest and third African American to serve in that capacity. Pastor Young is currently the Pastor and Founder of New Kingdom Christian Ministries in Richmond, Virginia (April 4,1999-Present). New Kingdom was called to serve the broken hearted, to heal the wounded and to bring glory to our Lord through serving the community with the light of God’s grace. The ingredients that make up this man of God are his anointed leadership and message of hope & restoration of God’s people.
Pastor Young is married to the former Sanya Buster. He and his
wife share the joy of three wonderful children, Leonidas III, Ariel and Erika.