Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

W. Vine St. Gains Honorary Name For Pastor Elbridge Lock

Plus: N. 33rd St. gains honorary named for bishop Kevin Carter.

By - May 12th, 2023 01:37 pm
Honorary street sign for Elbridge Lock on W. Vine St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Honorary street sign for Elbridge Lock on W. Vine St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

One block of W. Vine St. in the Triangle North neighborhood was honorarily renamed for Elbridge Lock, the founder of Unity Gospel House of Prayer.

“My granddad started this ministry 50 years ago,” said pastor Marlon Lock to the Public Works Committee on April 26. “We just celebrated 50 years on the same block in the same community.”

The honorary naming, which includes a blue street sign below the traditional green sign, applies from N. 12th St. to N. 13th St. The church, 1747 N. 12th St., covers half of the stretch and the organization owns the entire south side of the block.

The elder Lock passed away in 2009 at the age of 81.

“We just wanted to honor his name and honor his legacy,” said Marlon Lock, who the elder Lock raised.

“Church is in support, area is in support, great man,” said area Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II.

Elbridge Lock was born Dec. 31, 1927 in Sparkman, AR. He held the first service in his house in 1973. A nomination form says Lock was “the living embodiment of ‘walking by faith.'” The nomination says he was key in the creation of a safety partnership with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), the development of community outreach programs to financially support victims of sexual assault, abuse and homelessness and an annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway.

The late pastor is credited with coining the term OGHBYRG – Obey God and He’ll Bless You Real Good. Marlon still uses the phrase, including as the name of his record label.

The church’s current home, a one-story building, was constructed in the 1990s. The nomination form says the church also intends to open a community center.

The younger Lock, according to his biography, was moved to become a pastor in 1981 at the age of five. He also served five years as a member of MPD before becoming an associate pastor and then, upon the 2009 passing of his grandfather, head pastor.

“There would be two signs required, a cost of $200,” said Department of Public Works central drafting and records manager Yance Marti, summarizing the standard requirements. In recent years, the city has awarded many honorary street names.

The Citizen Advisory Committee, Public Works Committee and full Common Council unanimously approved both requests.


Bishop K. Carter

Elbridge Lock isn’t the only pastor to receive a new honorary street name.

The Common Council also authorized assigning the name “Bishop K. Carter” to the block of N. 33rd St. between W. Auer Ave. and W. Burleigh St. in the Roosevelt Grove neighborhood.

The name honors Kevin Carter, the founder of Joshua Possessing The Promise Ministries. The organization has been located at 3300 W. Burleigh St. since 2005.

No one appeared to speak on the matter at the Public Works Committee, with chair Robert Bauman advancing the measure without any discussion other than Marti affirming the citizen committee had reviewed and endorsed the matter.

A nomination letter from parishioner Baszonia Brinson says Carter, 59, was born in Milwaukee and kicked an alcohol addiction, without treatment or a support group, more than 30 years ago to become a minister. The nomination says Carter and his wife fostered several children. It credits Carter with never taking a salary from the organization and working as a construction worker, including as a program manager through the Milwaukee Urban League.

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Related Legislation: File 221520

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