FOUNDER OF INMAN CHRISTIAN CENTER 1913
Dr. Samuel G. Inman, Monterrey, Mexico 1905In the late 19th Century, the surge of large numbers of people immigrating to the United States represented opportunity and presented challenges to already existing cities in the country. More than 60,000 people left Mexico following the social and political revolution and settled in San Antonio, Texas in the early 1900’s. In answer to the spiritual needs of this setting group, Central Christian Church formed a mission church, Primera Iglesia Christiana, which met for services at different sites in the West Side of San Antonio in its early years and today is located on Guadalupe Street.Members of the Christian Church, their ministers and the Christian Women’s Board of Missions believed greater effort was necessary to bridge the gap in culture, education, and national identification to provide guidance and to aid the people in their daily lives. Dr. Samuel Guy Inman, a Disciples’ missionary who was born in Texas and had received his master’s degree from Columbia University, was instrumental in forming several settlement houses in Mexico in answer to people’s needs there. Together, with Dr. Hugh McLellan, pastor of San Antonio’s Central Christian Church and the Christian Women’s Board of Missions, he organized a settlement house similar to the work of the successful People’s Institute in Piedras Negras, Mexico, in answer to San Antonio’s community need. Their efforts in helping people in the Americas grow with better understanding of one another became widely known, and in 1913 he established the Mexican Institute in San Antonio. Located on Colima Street, the building cost nearly 12,000.00. Its purpose was to meet community needs such as teaching, reading and writing in English to enable the people to work; providing reading rooms and playgrounds for the children; as well as pre-school activities and childcare for working mothers; providing medical treatment clinics for all ages to curtail the spread of disease and to teach health and nutrition; and offering Bible classes.
Mexican Christian Institute, circa 1920
Since 1913, the doors of this community settlement have opened wider, extending to people of low income in all areas of the city. In 1920, the Institute’s name was changed to the Mexican Christian Institute to identify and directly reflect the missionary efforts of the church in the community. In late 1961, the Institute became Inman Christian Center in honor of its founder, to reflect the all-inclusive nature of its programs. The work of Inman Christian Center has greatly expanded since 1913 but the focus remains in helping those with low income to access and be a part of a variety of support and educational services which will assist them in their desire to enrich their lives, increase living skills, and also make desired life changes. Comprehensive services are in the area of health, childcare and child development, emergency and group social services, life skills, education, housing, and mental health activities.Dr. Inman died in 1965 in New York after having dedicated his life to help influence world leaders toward solving social problems relevant and helpful ways in Mexico, Central and South America. Dr. Inman authored 11 books, 96 pamphlets, and 900 articles on Latin-American affairs and served as Special Advisor on Latin American Affairs to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull in his dedication to foster better understanding between the peoples of the Americas. Among many achievements, he initiated La Hermosa Community Center for Puerto Ricans in New York City in 1956 and received the honorary LLD degree from Texas Christian University.
His life-guiding motto reflects his challenged heart and mind: "Commit yourself to the advanced policy that is needed. It will take backbone, but it is the pathway to victory.”....
1214 Colima St. San Antonio, TX 78207 p: 210.222.9641 f: 210.227.9566