Joseph E. Lowery was born October 6, 1921 in Huntsville, Alabama. His father was a mortician and his mother was a teacher. He earned a bachelor's degree from Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, a divinity degree from Paine Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in divinity from the Chicago Ecumenical Institute. He is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
While pastoring Warren Street Methodist Church in Mobile, Alabama in 1955 Lowery was head of the Alabama Civic Affair Association during the Montgomery bus boycott. When boycott leaders joined together after its successful resolution to form the Southern Christian Leadership Convention, he was named vice president of the SCLC. He later served as board chairman (1967-1977) and president (1977-1997) while leading churches in Mobile, Birmingham and Atlanta.
|With Martin Luther King|
A celebration for Lowery's 90th birthday is scheduled for this Sunday in Atlanta.