Rev. Samuel Coleman Lockett was a son of Rev. and Mrs. Abram Lockett, and was born in Arkadelphia, Ark., April 4, 1853. His mother, a devout and faithful Christian, died when he was only five years old.
His father married again, in 1861, and in 1862 moved to Texas, and three years later located near Austin. Being noted for revival power, he, in connection with Rev, F. E. Foster, held meetings in and around Austin, for several years after the Civil War, with great results. He died at the age of seventy-seven and was buried at Wichita Falls, Tex.
Brother S. C. Lockett was converted at a camp-meeting, in Burnett County, at the age of twenty. He joined the Methodist Church, and one year later was licensed to preach. After two years in school he continued to preach in the Methodist Church until he had finished the Conference course, and was ordained an elder.
With conscientious convictions of Bible truth that did not harmonize with Methodist doctrine, he joined the Little River Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in July, 1879. His first pastorate was in Lampasus County, where he built the first Cumberland Presbyterian church-house ever built in Little River Presbytery. The next year he was appointed missionary pastor at Lampasus, where, in eighteen months, he organized a congregation and built a church-house and manse. He resigned this work to accept an appointment as missionary for the American Sunday School Union for Western Texas.
This was indeed a delightful work for Brother Lockett, and he made a splendid record, for his heart was in the work. The first year he organized thirty-seven new schools, and witnessed over two hundred conversions. After about two years work in this, he was called to missionary work in his own presbytery, serving here one year. He then accepted a call to a new pastorate in Burnett County. In connection with his pastoral work he started the "Texas Church Helper," as a monthly paper. Later the enterprise was moved to Liberty Hill and published weekly, and again, it was moved to Hutto and advanced in interest to a state paper, with a circulation of three thousand. Just before the union scheme was launched, the "Helper" was sold, and fell into the hands of some unionists. Sad to relate, it was forced to "Help" destroy that which it had in other days "Helped" to build, therefore, the sword of justice cut it down and its publication was soon suspended.
When the "Union" question came up to vex and curse our church, it did not take Brother Lockett long to decide where he would stand. When it was evident that the church would divide he announced that he would cast his lot with those that would remain, whether many or few. As evidence of this, he responded to the call of his loyal brethren, left his beloved pastorate, and went into the field to wrest from the hand of the would-be destroyers as much as possible of the church he had twice vowed most solemnly to zealously and faithfully sustain, so long as he should be a member thereof--"whatever persecution or opposition may arise unto you on that account." In this capacity he was largely instrumental in holding intact the organization of our church in Texas.
At the Decatur Assembly he was elected by the Texas delegation as superintendent of missionary work in the state, and for several years did a great work in reorganizing our forces--like a faithful general, helping and encouraging, throughout the entire state. So effective were his efforts that the despoiler soon learned to dread his coming. So zealous and persevering was he beyond his own strength that his health failed, and for more than three years he was not even able to preach. At this writing, however, he has rallied sufficiently to take charge of a group of churches in Hill County.
Brother Lockett is one of the best preachers of our church. His manner is calm, earnest and emphatic. His sermons are spiritual and elevating. In all parts of Texas he is familiarly known as "Uncle Coley." To know him is to love him. Long may he live to bless the Cumberland Church by his ministry.
Senior Soldiers: The Biographies and Autobiographies of Eighty
Cumberland Presbyterian Preachers. Compiled
Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Publication. The Assistance of Revs. J. L. Price and W. P. Kloster is Greatfully Acknowledged. Nashville,
Tenn.: The Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1915, pages 184-188]
We the group session of the Whitney pastorate of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, composed of the Whitney, Peoria and Antioch congregations, wish to express our sense of loss and profound sorrow in the passing of our former pastor, Rev. S. C. Lockett, who died at Temple, Tex., June 8, 1922.
As a friend he was loyal and true, faithful in all the vicissitudes of life, appreciative and sympathetic.
As a pastor he was indeed the shepherd of his flock, seeking not his own, but the welfare of others at all times, rejoicing with the joyful, comforting the sorrowful, encouraging the weak, admonishing the thoughtless, sharing the burdens of all.
As a minister of the gospel he was wholly consecrated to the cause of the Master, preaching with unfeigned joy the unsearchable riches of his grace. Though anxious and with heart burdened for the sinner, he did not seek to condone sin, but was fearless, bold, and uncompromising in the denunciation of evil in all its forms.
Though charitable toward all denominations, he loved the Cumberland Presbyterian Church with a devotion that was unfaltering.
We fully believe that his arduous labors in behalf of his church throughout Texas exhausted his nerve force, wrecked his physical constitution and shortened his earthly career, so that it may be truthfully said that he gave his life for his church, which he believed to be a creature of God's providence.
As a citizen he was patriotic and a bold champion of Americanism. Though a loving and solicitous father, he took pride in the fact that two stalwart sons placed themselves on the altar of country during the great world war, he himself taking an active part in support of all home agencies.
A man of strong convictions, he was outspoken on all moral issues, yet showing a sincere deference and consideration for the feelings and convictions of others.
Those who had an intimate knowledge of his family life could but be moved by the veneration of his large family of children and their tender solicitude for his health during the last few years of his life, his sons beseeching him to give up the strenuous and active work of the ministry, offering to care for him and even give him more money that his congregations could pay him for his services, but "none of these things moved him."
Perhaps the greatest eulogy that could be paid him was the unconscious tribute of innocent children, who would stop their playing to climb upon the knee of "Uncle Coley," as he taught them to call him; even infants on their mothers' bosoms would hold out their little hands to be enfolded in his arms.
Truly a great man has fallen.
R. H. Hampton,
J. P. Webb,
A. M. Anderson,
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, July 20, 1922, page 16]
We have investigated and find that the following brethren have gone to their home in heaven:
. . .
3. Rev. S. C. Lockett, Corsicana Presbytery, Austin, Texas, died in July, 1922.
[Source: Minutes of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1923, page 166]