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Pastor Otis Lockett, Sr.

GREENSBORO — When he was a youngster, the Rev. Otis Lockett Sr. got into all kinds of trouble. So when the FBI came calling with one of its highest civilian honors, he made the most of it.

“This is like the Lord saying, ‘Whatever your past, I can erase it,’” Lockett joked at the time of the 2005 Director’s Community Leadership Award, given to 56 people nationwide that year.

Lockett, 58, a former local NAACP Man of the Year who founded the Malachi House residential treatment program for substance abusers, died last week.

The senior pastor of Evangel Fellowship, who earlier this year was named a bishop in the Church of God in Christ, will be eulogized at 7 p.m. today at the church. A second service, led by the head of the denomination, is at noon Friday at Mount Zion Baptist.

Gov. Bev Perdue announced Wednesday that Lockett is a 2012 recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the state’s highest civilian honors.

“He did things to teach and to train individuals — not just how to be ready for heaven, but to live here on earth,” the Rev. Reginald Holiday of Bethany Fellowship said.

A former social worker with degrees in psychology, sociology and divinity, Lockett once told the News & Record he was proud of Malachi House because it not only got the men sober, but also helped them be better fathers and husbands.

Under Lockett’s leadership, Evangel offered a range of self-improvement, including a “Wisdom Institute” that draws on professionals in the congregation to help nurture business people.

Contact Nancy McLaughlin at 373-7049 or nancy.mclaughlin

@news-record.com

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