In 1975, she became the first woman ordained as a deacon (pastor) in the Moravian Church in America.
Born in 1931 in Havertown, Pa. Mary Jane Dill was raised Lutheran. She attained a bachelor’s degree from Grove City College in 1953. Dill then moved to Athens, Ohio, where she served as Director of Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church. Two years later, she married The Rev. William W. Matz, a Moravian pastor.
She obtained her doctoral degree in ministry from Drew University in Madison, NJ. She also held a Master of Divinity degree from Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, PA. Together, the couple served many Moravian congregations in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The Rev. Dr. Mary Matz wrote several books, including Choices and values in a rapidly changing world and Ministry together: A manual for shared ministry training for pastors and laity. She served as Director of Education Ministries for the Northern Province, was Vice President of the Moravian National Council of Churches, and founded the Lehigh Valley Lay Academy to develop lay leaders. In 1995, The Rev. Dr. Mary Matz was honored with the John Hus Award for outstanding alumni from Moravian Theological Seminary. She was mother to two sons. She entered into the more immediate presence of her Lord in 2013.
We honor Mary on this Mother’s Day weekend for her pioneering spirit that paved the way for so many others. Today ~30% of active clergy in the Moravian Church in America are women.