Albany, NY — Reverend Troy P. DeCohen, Senior Pastor of the Mount Vernon Heights Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) represented the City of Mt. Vernon proudly as he stood before the state and prayed for the Governer Andrew M. Cuomo and NYS Legislative body at the 2016 State of the State and Executive Budget Address, Wednesday.
Rev. DeCohen has served as the Pastor of the 124-year-old church, located at 258 S. Columbus Avenue, since September of 2000. Introduced by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, the Mount Vernon preacher, husband of Reverend Viviana DeCohen and father or four, Chanell, Christopher, Angelica and Micaela, gave the blessing for the SOSA at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany.
“I had the privilege to stand and pray for our Governor The Honorable Andrew Cuomo and the entire New York State Legislative Body at the 2016 State of the State Address,” Rev. DeCohen tells BW. “I thank God Almighty for this opportunity but I also thank my family, my ancestors, my church family, “Aimee,” my clergy partners, and the City of Mt. Vernon. For today I represented all of us and the State of New York knows that Mt. Vernon is on the map and good things has sprung from it. Let’s keep each other in prayer and let the Lord do the rest.”
Westchester Senators, the Honorable Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Democratic Conference Leader and the Honorable Jeffrey D. Klein, Independent Democratic Conference Leader as well as Bronx Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie, the first African-American to serve as Speaker of the New York State Assembly, stood hand in hand with Gov. Cuomo and other legislators as DeCohen delivered the prayer.
Newly elected Mayor of Mount Vernon Richard W. Thomas was in attendance, accompanied by Mount Vernon School District Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton, Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce President Dwayne Brown and key administration staffers including Shawyn Patterson Howard as well.
The theme of the Governor’s agenda for the year is “Built to Lead,” in recognition of New York’s heritage as a standard-bearer throughout US history, the significant progress achieved in the state over the past five years, and New York’s inherent capacity to lead the nation in addressing some of today’s most pressing challenges.
Watch the entire State of the State Address in the video below, you can view Rev. DeCohen praying, 9 minutes into the video.