Sharing Our Stories

Grace Thornhill

Grace came to St. Luke’s in the 1940s when the current chapel was the sanctuary.  Her father worked for the railroad in Massachusetts and was transferred to Charleston.  Her parents chose St. Luke’s as a place of worship.  “I loved the community,” Grace shared. “All the adults would bend down and talk to us and take interest in our activities.” The pastor encouraged all the adults to mentor the youth. Evelyn Segelken was a mentor to Grace.  “I felt warmed and loved by God through Evelyn’s care,” Grace remembered. This relationship grew to adulthood, and they became friends. Grace married Herb Rosebrock at St. Luke’s, and for 20 years they moved from state to state, always returning to St. Luke’s when they and their children where in Summerville. “I always felt like St. Luke’s was home,” Grace said. “The sense of community was constant, and I always felt like the community of St. Luke’s was hugging me.”

After Grace’s husband, Herb, passed away, she fell in love and was married at St. Luke’s to Tom Thornhill. In the midst of the pandemic, Tom was diagnosed with mandible cancer. As a trained nurse, Grace worried about the isolation that could come from social distancing and keeping Tom safe. Members of Tom’s Sunday School and Bible Study took turns each day driving him to his cancer treatments.  These gentlemen were required to remain in their cars and waited in the parking lot until the treatment was completed.  They then drove him home.  This continued for seven weeks. “Programs come and go, but the important part of St. Luke’s is the community,” she shared. Grace felt this strong sense of community as the men from the church helped provide care for Tom. “I will never forget this love and care.  I feel blessed by God through the love and warmth of the St. Luke’s community.  I keep returning for the community hug I feel from them.”