The Queen City Section of North Carolina
The Psalmist said:
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8.
The Charlotte Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women mourns the passing of our sisterfriend, Reverend Jocelyn Pratt. Her commitment and contributions to women in the city of Charlotte will be sorely missed. Here is her life in a few words.
"As a child, a teen and a young adult, my service within Zion Baptist Church was ordered by the Lord. These earlier steps of service prepared me for ministry later in life. God continues to guide my hands and my heart with His eye as He uses me in His service."
Rev. Jocelyn Pratt, formerly Jocelyn D. Watson-Garland, affectionately known as “Dottie” was born in Washington, D.C. She is the oldest of 8 brothers and the only daughter of Reginald and Deacon Sylvia Watson Brown. She was reared in a Christian home by her maternal grandparents, Trustee Genevieve N. Johnson and Trustee John Johnson both of whom became Trustee Emeritus and were lifelong devoted members of Zion Baptist Church from the early 1900s. Rev. Jocelyn accepted Jesus Christ as her Saviour and was baptized at the age of 11 by Rev. Carlton W. Veazey. Baptismal services were held at Pilgrim Baptist Church while Zion was worshipping at the Phyllis Wheatley Y.W.C.A. on Rhode Island Ave. N.W.
Rev. Jocelyn is a graduate of Washington, D.C. Public Schools. She completed American University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She graduated from Howard University with a Master’s degree in Reading Education and a Master of Religious Studies degree. She furthered her studies at East Carolina University by completing a Certificate in Curriculum and Instruction; and completed a North Carolina K-12 Principal’s License. She has completed coursework towards the Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Rev. Jocelyn’s earliest memory of her Sunday School days at Zion Baptist was the 5 years old class taught by the late Deaconess Zadie McQueen under the pastorate of the late Rev. A. Joseph Edwards. From this beginning, she went on to serve in various capacities starting at an early age under the new pastorate of Rev. Carlton W. Veazey. During her upbringing, she participated in Sunday School activities, served with the Youth Ushers and the Young Adult Ushers, led services as Mistress of Ceremonies, participated in Girl Scouts led by Mrs. Elaine Saunders and appeared in Tom Thumb wedding programs and pageants led by the late Mrs. Berniece Hammond. While a student at American University, she worked as an Assistant in the Zion Baptist Teen Center in conjunction with the Police Boy’s and Girl’s Club. However, her primary involvement became singing in the choir’s soprano section. She sang in the Teen and Young Adult Choir under the direction of Shirley M. K. Berkley, James Foster, Jr., Minister Donald Vails, and others. During her tenure as Choir President, the choir frequently traveled and ministered throughout the DMV.
While studying at Howard University School of Education, she accepted the call to ministry in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. After counseling with Rev. Veazey concerning the steps towards Ordination, he directed her to his Alma Mater; the Howard University School of Divinity for further academic preparation. Upon graduation from the Divinity School in June 1982, she was Ordained as a Baptist Minister by Zion Baptist Church in Washington D.C. Following Ordination, Rev. Jocelyn was an Assistant Minister and was assigned to Zion’s Senior Day Care Center as minister to seniors. Some of her ministries, professional affiliations, and volunteer services have included the following:
Associate Minister at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church; Charlotte. N. C. Rev. Dr. Clifford A. Jones, Pastor.
Associate Minister at Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church; Greenville, N. C. Rev. Sydney Locks, Former Pastor.
Associate Minister at Fellowship Baptist Church; Washington, D.C., Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, Former Pastor.
Principal, Highland Charter School, Gastonia, N. C.
Assistant Principal, Myers Park Traditional Elementary School, Charlotte, N.C.
Assistant Principal, Williford Elementary School, Rocky Mount, N.C.
Classroom Teacher, Washington, D.C.
Adjunct Professor, Livingstone College, Salisbury, N.C.
Past President; Howard University School of Divinity National Alumni Association.
Gospel Music Workshop of America:
Evangelistic Board Member
Department Chair for Church Worship; Academic Division
Instructor: African American History and the History of Gospel Music; Academic Division
SERVES Community Outreach
International Reading AssociationPresenter: Closing the Academic Achievement Gap Conference
Presenter: Teacher Efficacy and Minority Students
Presenter: The Faith Community and Student Achievement
Charlotte Section National Council Negro Women: Financial Secretary, Executive Board
Rev. Jocelyn is blessed by God to have the love and support of her wonderful family. Her devoted husband is Nathaniel G. Pratt. Her son and daughter-in-love are Dr. Douglas M. Garland and Janice. Her daughter and son-in-love are Joy Davis and Thabiti. Her teen-age ‘Grandson-in-charge-of-laughter’ is Nolan!