By: Gracie King | Feature Editor |
On Sunday, Sept. 19, Reverend Levon Manzie, the Mobile City Council president and former Mobile County Schools board member, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 38. Manzie was wrapping up his first term as president and campaigning for a re-election runoff race when he died.
“I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and colleague, City Council President Levon Manzie,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said in a statement he released on Manzie’s passing. “Being grounded in his faith, Reverend Manzie was driven to be a peacemaker. While his focus was serving his constituents, his heart was for moving the entire City of Mobile forward. It was Levon’s childhood dream to be a city councilman in his hometown – a dream he fulfilled as a truly dedicated public servant for the city he dearly loved.”
Reverend Levon C. Manzie was born in Camden, Ala., to Reverend C.L. Manzie and Mrs. Jeanette Manzie. According to CBS 42 News, he was later raised in Mobile where he graduated from Murphy High School. After graduating, Manzie spent a short time studying at the University of South Alabama but later transferred to Troy University. When he graduated with his degree in political science and minor in history, Manzie immediately went to work, wanting to better the community he was raised in.
In 2008, Manzie became the youngest person to serve on both the Mobile City Council and the Mobile County Board of School Commissioners after winning his first election at the age of 25. As the representative of District 2, Manzie worked tirelessly to better the area’s infrastructure and preserve the city’s illustrious history, according to the Mobile Press-Register.
In terms of the upcoming runoff election for representatives for Districts 1, 2, and 6, the ballot will remain the same for the time being, according to Mobile City Clerk, Lisa Carroll Lambert. Due to this procedure, Manzie could become the first representative to be elected post-mortem.
“The run-off election scheduled for Tuesday, October 5, 2021, for the Mobile City Council Districts 1, 2, and 6 will still be held as planned as required by controlling Alabama law, a ruling of the Supreme Court of Alabama, and an opinion issued by the Attorney General of Alabama,” said Mobile City Clerk Lisa Carroll Lambert in a statement in response to Manzie’s death. “Consequently, incumbent Levon C. Manzie’s name will remain on the District 2 ballot.”
Though Manzie certainly made his mark in the politics of the City of Mobile, he also touched many lives and brought peace to his congregation as a preacher. Manzie has been the pastor at Saint Joseph Missionary Baptist Church, where his father preached before him, since 2018.
Colin Sanders Al-Greene, a former Student Government Association President, graduated from South Alabama in 2012. During his time here, Manzie acted as a mentor to Al-Greene, not just as a boss, but also as a servant leader.
“I am very sad to hear that one of my mentors has passed away. Council President Rev. Levon Manzie was a dedicated public servant who cared deeply for his community and his city,” Al-Greene told WKRG News. “When I was a student at USA, I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to intern for his office. He taught me a lot about being a servant leader,”
His absence will be felt in all aspects of the city as he sought to make a difference everywhere. He is remembered by his loving mother, three siblings, and a deeply saddened community. Our hearts go out to his loved ones in these hard times.