Life of Fayetteville's 'Bicycle Man' celebrated at funeral - WNCT

Life of Fayetteville's 'Bicycle Man' celebrated at funeral

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Moses Mathis died in his sleep early the morning of July 15. Moses Mathis died in his sleep early the morning of July 15.
RAEFORD, N.C. -

The funeral of Fayetteville's "Bicycle Man" Moses Mathis held true to the promise on the front of the order-of-service handout.

It read, "A Celebration of Life," and praise and worship music set the tone for the service.

"At the family's request there will be no 'dead' music here today," Sabrina Hendley told the people who gathered Monday afternoon at the Conference B Headquarters just outside Fayetteville in Hoke County.

Mathis died a week ago after several months of illness. He was well known for his work repairing bicycles and gathering donations of bicycles so they could be donated to needy children each Christmas.

"It just means a lot," Mathis' nephew, Stanley Hicks, said of the people who attended the funeral. "It's a testament to what he's done to this community. So we love that. It's heartwarming to see the response."

Esther Thompson remembers the early '90s when Mathis organized a community watch in the Tiffany Pines community to combat drugs and crime. It grew into outreach programs to help young people.

When a young neighbor asked Mathis for help repairing his bicycle, the idea for the bicycle give-away was born.

"He's always been inspirational," Thompson said. "Everybody loves Moses."

Thompson was a neighbor of Mathis during his early days of community involvement. She and her husband Lee have been longtime supporters.

"Never did any of us think that it would come to this magnitude, but when it's a great program, and we will continue to support it," Lee Thompson said.

More than 26,000 children have received a bicycle since the program started. Supporters like the Thompsons said they are ready to help Mathis' wife keep it going. Donations will still be accepted at the Bicycle Man's warehouse in the Hope Mills area.

"She's going to have more help than she can imagine because we love her just as much as we love Moses," Esther Thompson said. "So through her, Moses lives on."

During the eulogy, Rev. Frederick Hendley said when it's all said and done, for many people there's more said than done, but Moses Mathis had done a lot of good work.

"He's given so much more than just the items," Hicks said. "He's touched families' hearts, and I think that's something we'll always remember here in this community and across the nation."

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Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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