In God She Trusts
By Diane McMahon
Photography by Christian Lee
If you look up Carole Glover online, she is a presence. Whether she wants it or not, as the mother of an “American Idol” winner, Candice Glover and beloved “native daughter” of the Lowcountry, Carole Glover has high visibility on her own. Despite her claims of shyness, Carole has risen to the role of sought-after interviewee.
We meet outside at the River Park in Beaufort. Carole is as comfortable and refreshing as the sun-filled morning. She is accompanied by her husband, Rick Glover. Standing 6’3”, he is as tall as Carole is short (5’3”). Their connection is easy and obvious; he is completely comfortable having her take the lead. She says she’s always been the talker in the family.
“You know when you’re little and people ask what you want to be when you grow up? I always said I wanted to be a wife and mother with lots of children,” Carole said, and smiled at Rick, “and that’s what happened.” Rick and Carole were born and raised on St. Helena Island. Rick lived down the street. They started dating in high school. They married when she was 23, after she graduated from college. They’ve been married 26 years. Rick’s brother is their pastor; Rick is the assistant pastor.
They began married life with shared backgrounds and values and similar goals. Apparently it’s a good formula for success. Their first child is a daughter—Candice; the second is their son Jonathan. After parenting two children and working as a day care provider, Carole opened their home to foster children. “It was too sad saying good bye to our foster kids. Over the next years we adopted our other five children: Shaquaya, Carlos, David, Careme and Bethany. I can’t believe we’ve raised all our children in that small house.” There are still children at home. After 20 years in day care, Carole is currently on a break. She says day care providers have to be careful of burn out. But she talks about going back.
I ask where she gets her energy. “God gives you the grace to do it all. I think he gave me a ministry to take care of children, but it’s all through God and that’s what I tell my children.” She admits she sometimes just gets in her car and drives or goes to the Tanger outlets by herself and walks around and shops. “That’s how I replenish.”
“What I really want,” she says, “is a house on the water somewhere, with a balcony on the second floor where I can just sit and watch. And I want somebody to buy it for me. I’m just puttin’ it out there.”
I ask how Candice’s celebrity has changed things for Carole and the family. She says it’s been hard for her to have to let go of Candice, although they talk or text every day. She responds, “My role for her now is prayer. We are so proud of who she is and what she’s accomplished. There are so many people who love this child. But there are mean, negative things that get thrown at her, too. Beyoncé told her, ‘know who you are and move on.’ That’s what I always say too. ‘Move on’ and ‘work it.’ Those are my phrases. I know Candice is going to be exposed to a lot. I trust her and I trust God. And I keep praying.”
Carole says she’s gotten to do things and go places beyond her dreams. She has a capacity for enthusiasm and fun. She also has the wisdom of someone rooted in self-knowledge and faith. “Our family has become popular. That can create jealousy. Money changes people. I tell my children you have to stay grounded and remember where you came from.”
I tell her she seems like a woman who loves life. She wants to make sure I say she puts God first. She is grateful that her parents are still living—her mother is 70, her father is 78. She loves her family and her children. She is grateful her husband never gets tired of her talking. She says, “I tell myself when I go to sleep my mouth will be so glad.” I laugh. She asks, “So is that enough?” It’s more than enough.
Most annoying: Carole hates the sound of a fork hitting teeth. “Chew and swallow with your mouth closed!”
Most questionable decision: Carole took 25 Sunday school kids on a sleepover…by herself.
Most surprising lack of talent: She can’t sing a note (so she says).
Fraidy cat: She has a terrible fear of cats.
Half-century young: Carole will soon celebrate her 50th birthday. I bet she knows a superstar who will show up and sing!