On Sunday, February 28, a Worship Service will be made from SWCA Synod African Descent Ministries
Black History Month Podcast Series
Presented by the African Descent Pastors
of the Southwest California Synod
Each Friday in February (and one in March), the African Descent pastors of the Southwest California Synod will be offering a podcast in honor of the Black History of the American Lutheran Church, hosted by the Rev. Johnel Barron, Pastor of Olivet Lutheran Church, Hawthorne and presented by the Rev. James Phillips, African Descent Coordinator for SWCA Synod & Christ Lutheran Church, West Covina Interim Pastor; the Rev. John Miller, Interim Pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church & Another level Ministries, Los Angeles; the Rev. Kenneth Davis, Interim Pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church, Encino; and the Rev. Rod Hines, Pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church, Inglewood.

Rev. James Phillips Sermon - January 17, 2021 by James...

African Descent Coordinator James Phillips preaches at Christ, West Covina on MLK Weekend.

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Rev. James Phillips Sermon - January 17, 2021 by James...

African Descent Coordinator James Phillips preaches at Christ, West Covina on MLK Weekend.

Read more
Lutheran's and other Christian Groups’ Role in American Slavery  

Presented by Pastor James Phillips

February 12: “The Original Pastors"
The Rev. Jeru Jones & the Rev. Dr. Daniel E. Wiseman" (1885 - the first African American Lutheran Church congregation in the continental US)

Presented by Pastor John Miller

February 19: “Leadership Part I”
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Trout, (First Synod Bishop American Lutheran Church), Rev. Will Herzfeld, (First National Bishop AELCA)

Presented by Pastor Kenneth Davis

February 26: “Leadership Part II”
The Rev. Earline Miller, (First African American female ordained in Lutheran Church; Rev. Dr. Cheryl Stewart-Pero,(First Black Female New Testament professor at all denominational seminaries; Bishop Patricia Davenport (First African American Synod Bishop)

Presented by Pastors John Miller and James Phillips

March 5: “Leadership Part III”
Dr. Albert “Pete” Pero,;Dr. James Echols (1st Black Lutheran Seminary President, LSTC); Bishop Sherman Hicks
(2nd Synod Bishop of Metro Chicago Synod) 

Presented by Pastor Rod Hines
Bishop Nelson Trout
A Black Lutheran Saint
The Rev. Dr. Nelson W. Trout became the first African American U.S. Lutheran bishop and was a mentor, teacher and preacher to many in the African American community. He was a graduate of Capital University and Trinity Lutheran Seminary, both in Columbus. He was also awarded a doctor of divinity degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.

The Rev. Trout served as a pastor for several congregations in Wisconsin, Alabama and California. Trout was a very inspiring and powerful preacher, and while he was serving in Montgomery, Ala. he became friends with Martin Luther King Jr., with whom he used to joke about being a Lutheran.

He became the associate youth director for the American Lutheran Church in 1960 and served until 1967 when he became the director for urban evangelism. He has also held other roles, such as the executive director of Lutheran Social Services in Ohio, and he was a professor and director for minority ministry studies at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Trout played a large part in creating an identity for African Americans and other minorities through all of his roles in the church.

On June 17, 1983, Trout was elected bishop of the South Pacific District of the American Lutheran Church. He served in this role until 1987 when the American Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church in America and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches merged to become one church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Following the merger he was named bishop emeritus of the Southwest California Synod. 
Trout is a very important figure in ELCA history as he was the first African American bishop of the church. He was passionate, intelligent and powerful in his preaching and teaching.

In 1991, Trinity Seminary established the Nelson W. Trout Lectureship in Preaching in honor of him.

Excerpted from Living Lutheran, February 2021

Update: Nelson Trout Chapel Dedication
The Rev. Dr. Nelson W. Trout Chapel Dedication and Reception previously planned for February, 2020 has been rescheduled for February 2022, when we will be honored to have the Trout Family in attendance. An endowment in honor of Dr. Trout has been established, with a goal of $25,000 by December 2022. Please see this update for more information
Southwest California Synod of the ELCA| (818) 507-9591| news@socalsynod.org| www.socalsynod.org