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Indianapolis pastor's life and legacy remembered after he died with COVID-19

Posted at 7:43 AM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 07:43:03-04

Thousands of Hoosiers have died since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020 and we know — they're more than just numbers. If you've lost a loved one to COVID-19 and want to share their story reach out to us at FacesOfCovid@wrtv.com.

INDIANAPOLIS — Greg Cheatham was a man of many talents.

He was a father, worked in human resources at the Subaru plant in Lafayette and was an associate pastor at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis.

Greg and his wife Lawanda, who were married 35 years, enjoyed taking cruises and visiting Seattle was on their bucket list.

"I think about all the things we talked about. What we would do tomorrow, maybe we should have did it today. I think about how he loved his family. How he loved his church," Lawanda said.

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Greg and Lawanda Cheatham were married 35 years.

In January, both Greg and Lawanda tested positive for COVID-19. Greg required medical care and while being transferred from a medical facility in Avon to Indianapolis, Lawanda got the call.

"They told me he had passed away," she said. "They couldn't stabilize him. His heart stopped. You never know what's going to happen or what's in your path for your loved one, especially COVID of all things. COVID took him away, COVID."

At least six members of the Mount Olive congregation, including Greg, have died due to the virus. Pastor Carl Liggins Sr., his wife and son recovered from COVID-19.

"We still don't know, Rafael, even those of us who survived, the aftereffects of COVID could have for us, so it's very much real," Liggins Sr. said.

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Greg Cheatham was an associated pastor at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.

In honor of their dear friend, the church is creating a fund to help people pay for college. Greg got his degree late in life and valued education.

"I think he would want us to do whatever we could to move people forward in their lives, careers," Liggins Sr. said.

Greg was 59 years young and still had so much to do, and so in his name, his church, friends and family are taking a swing at getting the job done.

The Rev. Greg Cheatham Memorial Golf Outing will take place Saturday, Sept. 25 at Winding River Golf Course at 8015 Mann Road. Tee time is scheduled for 9 a.m.

People can register by Sept. 15 and contact the church for more information at 317-634-9178.