Gonzales native’s book added to more university library collections


A Gonzales native’s self-published book chronicling his own experiences growing up in the community during integration has been added to the libraries and archives of more than 48 universities and counting worldwide.

Bishop George Sampleton, who now resides in Cedar Creek and is the pastor of the Spiritual Pentecostal Church in Bastrop, said his book, “Don’t Give Up Keep the Faith,” is now among the collections at the Stanford Libraries, Texas A&M University Libraries and the Texas State University Libraries.

An April 22 letter from Stephanie Swenson Towery, the head of scholarly resources for TSU Libraries, congratulated Sampleton on his birthday and thanked him for the donation of his book to their collection.

“Your book is currently available for students, staff and faculty to check out and for other libraries to borrow,” Towery wrote. “University Libraries is honored to be one of the many libraries worldwide who holds your book. We appreciate your kindness and generosity and sharing your story with us here at Texas State University.”

An April 4 letter from Robin Brandt Hutchison, associate librarian for Special Collections and Archives at the Texas A&M University Libraries called Sampleton’s 2017 book “an important addition to the Area Studies Africana collection at Texas A&M University's Cushing Memorial Library and Archives.”

“In his book, Bishop Sampleton chronicles his upbringing in Gonzales, Texas, during the transformative decades of the 1950s and 1960s, marked by the initial integration of public schools. He tells how his mother's consistent words of encouragement through the title of his book enabled him to overcome adversities culminating in his graduation, military service, seminary education and leadership in several churches,” Hutchison wrote.

“The numerous accolades bestowed upon Bishop Sampleton and documented in this work, including recognition by the Texas State Legislature, demonstrate the impact of this narrative in his life of preaching, understanding and hope. Through his story, Bishop Sampleton not only preserves personal history, but also contributes to the collective understanding of the African American experience in Texas.”

The third letter, dated March 28, was from Benjamin Stone, curator for American and British History, associate director, Department of Special Collections, at Stanford University Libraries and it notes the book has been added to their library catalog as well.

Sampleton said he credits God for helping him see his message of hope and love being spread throughout the academic community.

“I just want people to know that it's not where you come from, it’s where you're going,” Sampleton said. “It's not about hatred. It's about peace. It's about joy. It's about love. It's about kindness.

“If I had been a hateful person, I never would have gone as far as I have. Hate does nothing but takes away from an individual.”

Sampleton was a member of the first integrated class at Gonzales High School when he began attending in 1965.