Service is the Soul's Highest Calling – powerful in its instruction this statement is far more than the banner of operation for the Zion Hill Mortuary – it is the essence of the life of its Director, Dwayne Elliott Matt. A blessing bestowed upon Prince and Edna Matt, in St. Petersburg, Florida; Matt graduated from Lakewood High School in 1987. He then went on to attend Northeastern Oklahoma University on a full athletic scholarship. It was there that his keen interest and dedication to Mortuary Science was birth. Further studies led him to the Funeral Service program at Miami-Dade Community College, where he graduated in 1991. His amazing dedication to the preparation of life transition was beyond natural, in fact, it was evident that it is indeed Matt's "highest calling". Apprenticeships were served at the esteemed Marion Graham Mortuary in Jacksonville, Florida. Matt received his professional licensing in the State of Florida as a Funeral Director and Mortician.
With his credentials in hand, Matt subsequently mastered his craft with several established and pioneering funeral homes and mortuaries in Florida. The list includes: Poitier Funeral Home, Miami; Marion Graham Mortuary, Jacksonville; Scurry Funeral Home, Fort Lauderdale; Marvin C. Zanders Funeral Home, Apopka; and others. Taking on the full mantle of his education and apprenticeship, on September 9, 1996, Matt and his family raised the bar in the funeral service industry with the awakening of the Zion Hill Mortuary, 1700 49 Street South, St. Petersburg, Florida. Specializing in restorative artistry, professional cosmetology, technical embalming and more importantly counseling and concern for the bereaved, Matt and his staff are "The Soldiers of Service". Matt says their goal is to provide expert and compassionate care for the deceased and personal and empathetic service to the survivors. As such, Matt and Zion Hill embrace and embody their motto – Service Is The Soul's Highest Calling.
A faithful member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and former member of Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church for more than 30 years; Matt serves his community as an active member of the ministry's Security Team. In that capacity he has taken on leadership roles in various areas and applies his professional experience to serving his fellow man, by counseling members through the funeral process. His community involvement has garnered numerous certificates, accolades and symbols of recognition. Those have included: applause from Project P.A.I.R.S for his service as a role model, Certificate of Leadership from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; certificates of appreciation from the Drop Out Prevention Program, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County and from the Childs Park Youth Initiative Council, where he additionally served on the Board of Directors. An loyal and involved member of the United Free and Accepted Masons of the World St. Mark #12; Matt is also part of the illustrious I.B.P.O Elks of the World Sunshine City Lodge #255 and the St. Petersburg Area Black Chamber of Commerce. His business and civic involvement is also evident in current and former memberships in the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club of St. Petersburg and the Fifth District, National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association Inc. His service to the funeral industry, led to his 1999 appointment by Florida Governor Jeb Bush to the Florida Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers. Matt currently serves as Vice Chairman of this vital body.
When his hands are not comforting families or overseeing the celebration of life's movement into lasting slumber, Matt can be found enjoying various sports; or more likely on the golf course. He additionally enjoys jet skiing, fishing and boating and is often found spending time with his lovely wife Immaculate and his children Marquis Dwayne and Brianna Nicole. Service is the soul's highest calling and Matt is a glowing example of the success that comes from walking in your calling.