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About the Founder

GEORGE M. MAY

George M. May, the founder and first president of the Christian University of San Andres and Old Providence, is a native of San Andres Island.  He is the youngest of six children born to Captain Samuel May and Ariminta May. Both of this parents were born on the island of San Andres.  His father was a well-known navigator who served in the Colombian Navy.  His mother was a homemaker with a strong Christian faith who served as administrator of her home.  She was a wise investor in island properties and sought to expand her family's economic base.

During World War II, the cargo ship on which George's father served as captain was torpoedoed by a German submarine between the coastal city of Cartagena and the island of San Andres.  His brother Hadley, and an uncle were also killed during that tragic incident.

In 1951, with his admission to Wayland Baptist College, George M. May became the first black student to enroll in a Baptist University affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.  His willingness to face persecution and rejection forced Southern Baptists to face their prejudices.  He graduated from Wayland in 1954.

In 1954, because of the illness of the pastor of the historic First Baptist Church of San Andres Island, George May became pastor of the of oldest evangelical church in all Latin America.  In his first year as pastor, May baptized 64 people and sent forth 100 members to start a new church.

In 1967, he received his Master of Divinity degree from International Baptist Seminary in Cali, Colombia, South America.  His other post-graduate education includes graduate studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio from 1969-1970.

May served as Minister of Education at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas from 1966-1969.  He was pastor of Lakeside Baptist Church in East Cleveland, Ohio from 1969-1972.  He served as pastor of South Park Baptist Church in Houston, Texas from 1972-1992, during which time he built lasting relationships with other church leaders, community leaders, organizations, and business men and women in the city.  To help keep children in the community off the streets, he built a chuch gymnasium.  To assist with instilling pride in homeowners in the area and to help beautify the neighborhood, he was instrumental in organizing the Androver-Southview Civic Association.  He organized street, jail, and apartment ministries.  While in Houston, George May was one fo the founding members of the Martin Luther King Credit Union, which has been beneficial in the financial growth and development of people in the South Park and Sunnyside communities.  Also, he served on the Credit Union's board from 1987-1992.

In 1986, while serving as a trustee of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, May had a vision for higher education for his people.  With his vision came a passion that his own people would have the training necessary to compete in today's world and beyond.  Motivated by this yearning to see the young people of his native island have the educational opportunities he had been privileged to enjoy, May returned to San Andres Island, Colombia, South America in 1992.  In aswer to a special call to bring higher education to his homeland, May started the San Andres International University (Christian University of San Andres & Providence).  It is his vision that San Andres will become a center of Christian influence and higher education for Afro-Caribbean in that area of the world.

George May and his wife Virginia Stephens May have three daughters:  Fanny May Young of Missouri City, Texas; Lorene May Harrison of Stafford, Texas; and Mxine May Raleigh of Missouri City, Texas, as well as four grandchildren.