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“Community Pastor”, Larry Locke Remembered At Sherry’s Run


Larry Locke, and his wife Carol, spent the last 40 years ministering to the Lebanon community. Though Locke certainly cared for and spent much time with his own congregation, the College Hills church of Christ, his passion was for the most marginalized in this community.

Soon after their arrival in Lebanon in 1977, Locke was invited to the bedside of a dying alcoholic to pray. This fateful event opened the door for Locke to become deeply involved in Alcoholics Anonymous. He soon opened the College Hills church as a host facility for meetings. Locke went on to serve as the Chairman of the Board for the Fellowship House, a facility for recovering addicts to get back on their feet. “He truly became more of a community Pastor,” says Carol. “He loved to share the message of God’s grace and forgiveness with those who thought they could never be forgiven.”

Locke’s love for the community extended to other areas, as well. He was active in the jail ministry, regular hospital visitation, and served as the Chairman of the local Cancer Society. Both Larry and Carol were regular supporters of Sherry’s Run, a local grassroots non-profit that assists cancer patients and their families. As an avid runner, Larry participated in their 5K event each year and was even a finalist in his age category. Carol has also volunteered at the water stations, tied green bows, and assisted in the silent auction.

One of Locke’s most recent initiatives was to coordinate a unified day of worship in partnership with local African-American churches. This event continues today and has begun to build bridges for racial unity in the Lebanon community.

In early 2016, Locke was diagnosed with dementia, along with battling severe depression. Over the following two years, he slowly became a shadow of the vibrant, community-loving man he had been. Carol was his faithful and loving care-giver, with much support from their family and friends. Kindred Healthcare and their Memory Care support group for patients and their caregivers became an important resource for Carol during these difficult days. “I wouldn’t have been able to keep Larry at home without them,” says Carol. Kindred Healthcare has recently partnered with Sherry’s Run to offer a support group for cancer patients and caregivers. The group is open to anyone affected by cancer who is searching for hope and encouragement.

“If there’s one thing I want people to remember about Larry, it’s that he deeply cared for people…all people,” says Carol. In just a few weeks, Locke’s legacy will be remembered at the 15th annual Sherry’s Run 5K Run/Walk event. What better way to honor his memory than to spend the day showing cancer patients and their families how much this community cares for them?

Registration is open for the 15th annual Sherry’s Run 5K Run/Walk scheduled for Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. Click here to register or join a team today! Come join us as we make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer right here in our community.  

Your support allows us to assist cancer patients 52 weeks a year with gas, groceries, utility bills, housing payments, prescription assistance, health insurance premiums, medical bills, and colonoscopy assistance.

To learn more about Sherry’s Run, please call 615-925-2592 or email  To refer someone who might qualify for assistance, please call 615-925-9932 or email

“Serving Cancer Patients 15 Years Running”

Corrie Cluck

Faith, courage, optimism and a desire to help others were qualities that defined Sharon “Sherry” Patterson Whitaker. Both before and after the energetic wife and mother was diagnosed with colon cancer, the impression she made on her family, friends and community was undeniable. While her battle in the flesh was lost in 2004, the spirit she had shown throughout life continues to touch more lives every day. Because of Sherry’s Run, a 5K run/walk benefit organized in Sherry’s memory, area cancer victims and their families can make strides toward becoming cancer survivors, and researchers are a small step closer to stopping the disease for good.