Deaconess Elaine Thomas

2022 Gerald Nuckolls Award for Christian Education

Elaine's Early Life

Elaine W. Thomas was born in 1940 to Pauline and Willie E. Wallace who reared her to be self-sufficient and God fearing. She and her brother, Wayne were predeceased by their brother Willie J. Wallace.

Elaine's Early Life

Elaine grew up in Chicago. She attended St. Elizabeth School, which laid the foundation of her worldview. She graduated from Englewood High School in 1958 and later continued her education at Wilson Jr. College. She worked her way through school, attaining a bachelor’s degree in Art in 1968 from Chicago State University. That year, Elaine started her teaching career at Forrestville Upper Grade Center. Starting in 1973, Elaine taught Art and chaired the Art Department of DuSable High School until her retirement in 1993. Her love of music led her to complete a second bachelor’s degree in music in 1987 from Roosevelt University and a master’s in Vocal Pedagogy/Voice Performance in 2003.

Teaching & Mentoring

Christened as a newborn and always loving the Lord, Elaine and her husband, Eddie, united in worship at St. John Church–Baptist of Chicago in 1976 where she is a featured soprano in the Chancel Choir and served as Chairperson of the Music Board. Seeing a need in the church and surrounding community, Elaine worked on the church’s Tutoring Committee, serving as Director from 1994 to 1999. In 2001, she became a member of the Deaconess Board. Elaine Thomas teaches in both the Missions Department and the Naomi Circle. She was also elected as chairperson of Women’s Day and the church’s World Day of Prayer. 

Serving Her Community

In addition, Elaine is very active her community. She has held numerous leadership positions in her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She has served as the President of her block club in Chicago and is highly involved in the church and community in her second residence of Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Personal Life

In 2011, Elaine her beloved husband of 38 years, Eddie Thomas, passed away. Elaine continues to mentor young women and continue her devotion to teaching the word of God.