Grace Lutheran

Copyright © 2017 Grace Lutheran Church

Summerville, South Carolina
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Ellen Pearson, Office Manager

Patty Barnes, Music Director

Karen Suter, Deaconess

Deaconess Karen Suter, a 2017 graduate of Concordia University Chicago, was installed on June 4, 2016. A Minnesota native, Suter was majoring in music education when she began college at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., but while there, she realized she had a passion for Christian theology and a strong desire to pursue a vocation serving in the church. In the middle of her sophomore year, Suter transferred to Concordia University Chicago and the deaconess program. She studied in England and Guatemala, and served a one-year deaconess internship at a multi-ethnic, inner-city congregation in the Midwest.

A deaconess is a woman who is trained, called and commissioned by the denomination to serve Christ and his church through works of mercy, spiritual care and teaching the faith to others. Among Suter’s duties are visiting the sick and shut-ins, providing grief support and assistance, helping with the congregation’s Stephen Ministry program, and providing support and assistance with various ministries to older adults, families, and to children, youth and women. She leads a family ministry program and adult Bible Study on Sunday mornings, assists the pastor with other Bible studies during the week.




Rev. Richard Willsea, Pastor

Karen Suter, Deaconess

Rev. Richard Willsea, Pastor

Wendell Richard Willsea III was born on February 14, 1971, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. When he was four years old his parents relocated to central Arkansas. In 1989 he graduated from Searcy High School, where he played football, ran track, and sang in the chorus.

Richard Willsea attended college at Concordia - Seward, the University of Central Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Prior to his college graduation, he married Stephanie Morgans on December 17, 1994.

In the summer of 1996, he began his studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. During this third year of seminary, his vicarage was at West Portal Lutheran Church in San Francisco, California. After his graduation from seminary in May 2001, Pastor Willsea received his first call to The Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was ordained and installed on June 17, 2001.

He and Stephanie have three children: Nicole, Richard, and Lauren. He was installed as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church on June 1, 2010.