|Born||? years before Rapture|
|Died||Almost 4 years into the Tribulation|
|Occupation||Football player (formerly), Fisherman (formerly)|
|Relatives||Tom Gowin (brother)|
|Spiritual State||Saved during the Tribulation|
|First Appearance||A Dangerous Plan|
Luke joined the Young Tribulation Force in book 20 when he and his brother Tom Gowin first met some of their members near one of their hideouts. Carl Meninger had information that the Global Community knew about Luke's group. Luke was impressed when he found out that Vicki Byrne personally knew and spoke with Tsion Ben-Judah. Luke wanted to know what was going on with the adult Tribulation Force. According to Tom, prior to meeting Vicki and the others, Luke had a dream about himself sitting in a classroom and studying the Bible. Luke swore it was a message from God. Carl later sent Vicki a message telling Luke and Tom to stay low for a couple of weeks, as the Global Community knew about their group.
Nothing much is known about Luke's early childhood.
Not much is known about Luke's childhood. It is possible he may have started playing football at this time. If he did, he would have played as a linebacker.
Luke became a believer prior to the events of book 20. He first saw Conrad Graham near their hideout. Luke grabbed Conrad and held his arm behind his back, not knowing that he and the others with him were all believers. Tom Gowin then showed his flashlight on Carl Meninger's forehead, and then on the foreheads of the others. Tom then apologized for Luke's actions after Luke let go of Conrad.
He later appeared with his brother at the plantation house in South Carolina, a safe house for the southern contingent of the Young Tribulation Force. They housed Judd Thompson Jr. and Lionel Washington for a few days after they arrived back to the continental United States. Their safe house was unfortunately compromised by the Global Community operatives, Lee and Brooke McCarty. The Young Tribulation Force was able to evacuate the other believers from the plantation house to another safe house in Barnwell, Georgia before Lee and Brooke called a raid. Chang Wong, the Tribulation Force's mole working in the GC Palace, also e-mailed them to warn them of an upcoming raid where the Global Community would be bringing in the "big guns". When the raid occurred, Luke was able to escape the house with his brother, Tom, Judd, and Lionel. They went to another safe house in Walterboro, South Carolina. While they were there, they went on retaliatory raids against the home of the bounty hunters to burn them down. On one of these missions, they did not return to the safe house since they were killed by bounty hunters. Their dead bodies with three bounty hunters standing by them were seen on a Global Community Cable News Network broadcast. This confirmed to their cohort that the Gowin brothers were dead.
Luke was good friends with Carl Meninger, Judd Thompson Jr., and Lionel Washington. He also seemed to be on good terms with fellow Young Tribulation Force members Vicki Byrne, Conrad Graham, Mark Eisman, Darrion Stahley, Janie McCanyon, and Shelly Malloy. Luke was enemies with Lee McCarty, Brooke McCarty, Max, and Albert.
Personality and Skills
Luke was a fisherman, and was described to be very big and strong. Luke's strength proved to be useful when he saved Judd and Lionel from the bounty hunters in The Rise of False Messiahs. Luke was also shown to be loyal to his fellow believers when he helped Carl Meninger hide from the Global Community in Death at the Gala.
Judd Thompson Jr. objected to the leadership style and organization of the plantation house. Judd observed that everyone just follows Luke and Tom and that it might make others in the group feeling left out. While they were about to discuss them, the group detected a disturbance around the plantation house caused by Lee and Brooke McCarty loitering around it. Luke looked at Judd and sarcastically asked whether they wanted to take a vote on what to do, as he was criticizing that procedural consulting might prevent expedient action.
He is adept in melee combat. While the Young Tribulation Force was evacuating the plantation house because it had been compromised by Lee and Brooke McCarty and they called in a raid on them, he threw a backpack at Brooke when she was using a hidden phone to alert the GC, which knocked the phone in brush. He grabbed the arm of Lee, twisted it, and threw him to the ground. Luke then used duct tape on their mouths, hands, and feet.
He has little aversion to using lethal force out of expediency, often against the objections of other believers. Luke suggested that they kill Lee and Brooke McCarty due to his suspicion that they were Global Community operatives because they did not receive the mark of the believer after Lionel had led them to the Sinner's Prayer. Judd objected because they might be innocent. Luke responded that they should be tied up while they decide what to do with them, but they ultimately followed Judd's suggestion to treat them as if they were part of the family while they planned their escape. Luke and Tom were willing to violently retaliate against the bounty hunters by burning their houses down to deter the bounty hunters from further activity, which led to both of their deaths in The Rise of False Messiahs. Luke justified active measures against Global Community personnel against Judd's moralistic objections about not "stoop[ing] to their level" by mentioning that if that had immediately taken care of Brooke and Lee, they would still be in the plantation house and that the Global Community was decapitating believers every day so it is not likely that can peacefully coexist with an opponent that inexorably wants them dead.
- 20. A Dangerous Plan (first appearance)
- 25. Death at the Gala
- 35. The Rise of False Messiahs (death)
- 40. Triumphant Return (resurrected)
- 21. Secrets of New Babylon
- 22. Escape from New Babylon
- 29. Breakout!
- 34. Bounty Hunters
- 36. Ominous Choices
- Luke's first appearance was in book 20.
- Luke's death was in book 35.
- Luke was the seventh member of The Young Tribulation Force to die.
- Luke, Tom, and Carl were all members of the Southern Contingent of The Young Tribulation Force.
- Luke outlived his brother Tom by one minute.
- Luke was the strongest member of the Young Tribulation Force. This can be attributed to his athletic ability after playing football.
- Luke punched Albert in the stomach to rescue Tom, Judd, and Lionel despite the fact that Albert was armed with a shotgun.
- Luke and Tom are the only Young Tribulation Force members to have lived in South Carolina prior to the Rapture.
- Of all the Young Tribulation Force members that died, Luke was mentioned the least amount of times after his death.
- Luke is the only male non-original Young Tribulation Force member in which the number of books he is mentioned in outnumbers the number of books he appears in.
- Luke, Tom Gowin, and John Preston were the three Young Tribulation Force members that were mentioned the least amount of times in the series.
- Luke never had a scene without his brother Tom in the series.
- It can be assumed that Luke was the most aggressive of the two Gowin brothers. One instance of this being true is when Luke held Conrad Graham's arm behind his back and confronted other Young Tribulation Force members in A Dangerous Plan, not realizing they were believers. Another instance is when Luke restrained Lee McCarty and Brooke McCarty with duct tape in The Rise of False Messiahs. A third instance is when Luke harshly responded to Judd Thompson Jr. and Lionel Washington when they tried to talk him out of attacking the bounty hunters.
- Luke is the second Young Tribulation Force member that died not to have met any members of the adult Tribulation Force. The first was Tom.
- The Rise of False Messiahs is the only book in which Luke's name appears in the introduction.
- Luke and Tom are the only siblings to both be members of the Young Tribulation Force.
- Luke and Tom are one of two pairs of related Young Tribulation Force members. The other pair are Mark Eisman and John Preston, who are cousins.
- With Luke's death, there are no surviving members of the Gowin family.
- Luke made the least amount of appearances out of all the Young Tribulation Force members, appearing in just 4/40 books.
- In the books, Luke is killed by bounty hunters. In the dramatic audio presentation, Luke apparently survives to the Glorious Appearing.