Of the many people involved in the civil rights movement, Joseph Ellwanger’s participation came from a unique position. He’s white and in the 1960s pastored the predominantly black St. Paul Lutheran Church in Birmingham’s Titusville neighborhood. He also led a group called the Concerned White Citizens of Alabama. They marched in Selma on what turned out to be the eve of Bloody Sunday.
Ellwanger has written the book Strength for the Struggle which reflects on his experiences first in Birmingham and later in Milwaukee. He tells WBHM’s Andrew Yeager what it was like to pastor a church across racial lines in the Jim Crow South.
~ Andrew Yeager, June 13, 2014