Joseph Ellwanger

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Joseph W. Ellwanger, Jr (born c. 1934 in Selma) was the pastor of St Paul Lutheran Church in Titusville from 1958 to 1967 and a supporter of Birmingham's Civil Rights Movement. He led the Birmingham Council on Human Relations and the Concerned White Citizens of Alabama.

On March 6, 1965 Ellwanger led 72 CWCA protesters in a march on the Dallas County Courthouse to protest the county's unlawful suppression of voting rights for black citizens. Martin Luther King, Jr included him in a group of 15 pastors that met subsequently with President Johnson to voice support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In 1967 Ellwanger and his wife, Joyce, relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he pastored Cross Lutheran Church for 34 years. He retired in 2001, but continues his affiliation with a Wisconsin-based social justice coalition.

In 2008 Ellwanger was given the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.


  • Blackside, Inc. (November 13, 1985) "Interview with Rev. Joseph Ellwanger" transcript. Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years (1954-1965)
  • Heinen, Tom (January 17, 2004) "Bombing revealed the danger of silence." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
  • Garrison, Greg (November 1, 2008) "Rev. Joseph Ellwanger to receive Shuttlesworth leadership award." Birmingham News
  • Gray, Jeremy (November 14, 2008) "Birmingham institute to honor the Rev. Ellwanger for early civil rights support." Birmingham News