Nelson Wesley Trout (1921-1996) was the first African-American bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Trout was born in Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Trout was elected bishop of the South Pacific District of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) in 1983, a position he served through 1987. At the time of his election he was a professor and director of minority studies at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio. He was renowned as a moving and powerful preacher throughout the church. He served pastorates in Alabama (where he became a friend and colleague of Martin Luther King, Jr.), California and Wisconsin, and as Executive Director of Lutheran Social Services, Dayton, Ohio. On two occasions he served the ALC in executive capacities: as Associate Youth Director (1962-67) and Director of Urban Evangelism (1968-70). He died in 1996 at the age of 76. He is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on September 20.
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