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HOUSTON– Deacon Leonard Lockett’s journey from civil rights activist to teacher of Catholicism has not been easy.

Lockett began speaking up for equality at a young age, serving as the vice president of the NAACP youth council at his high school.

“Those were very turbulent times,” Lockett said. “I can remember the bombing of the church in Alabama and the shooting of Dr. King, among other horrible injustices.”

Lockett’s experiences in the segregated South moved him to pursue a higher education. After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Pastoral Theology from the University of St. Thomas, Lockett went on to become a Theology professor for the University, and Vicar for Catholics of African Descent for the Archdiocese of Galveston.

“I love teaching African American Ministries, especially the history of the African American in the Catholic Church,” said Lockett.

Although Lockett’s dreams of becoming a priest were never brought to fruition, he is still determined to do God’s will anyway that he can.

“I try to live my life by doing God’s will, the way Dr. King would have wanted. Whatever his will may be, that’s what I’m here to do,” said Lockett.