Exclusive Interview: Samuel Collins, III—Historian, Preservationist, and Social Justice Advocate Shares Insights on Community, Legacy, and the Path Forward

Samuel Collins, III, a seventh-generation Texan with roots tracing back to 1837, embodies a multifaceted commitment to his community.
 
 
 
Graduating from Texas A&M University with a BBA in Accounting in 1994, Collins embarked on a journey that seamlessly intertwined his expertise in finance with his deep-seated dedication to local progress.
 
Collins’ involvement in the preservation community has garnered widespread acclaim.
 
Recognized as Galveston County’s Citizen of the Year in 2015, Collins has been instrumental in safeguarding local, state, and national heritage sites.
 
From serving on the Board of Advisors with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to his pivotal role in acknowledging the Sugar Land 95, Collins has tirelessly endeavored to expand historical narratives, particularly within the context of Texas history.
 
Balancing his professional career with his role as an Associate Minister at Greater St. Matthews Baptist Church, Collins epitomizes the harmonious integration of faith and community service. His commitment to fostering positive change extends beyond his preservation efforts.
 
Through initiatives such as the Juneteenth Mural Committee and the #TellTheFullStory campaign, Collins seeks to reshape historical narratives, promote inclusivity, and inspire collective action.
 
As a sought-after speaker, Collins delivers impactful messages of diversity, equity, and inclusion to a diverse array of audiences, ranging from corporations to educational institutions.
 
Looking ahead, Collins remains fervently optimistic about upcoming projects, including his collaboration with the Texas Historical Commission on the development of a new African American museum at the Levi Jordan Plantation.
 
With an unwavering dedication to amplifying marginalized voices and advocating for positive societal change, Samuel Collins, III, continues to leave an indelible mark on Galveston County and beyond.
 
Now to the interview….
 
Q: What inspired your involvement in the preservation community, and could you elaborate on some of your notable contributions in this area?
 
Sam Collins, III: Preservation and community development have always been close to my heart. In 2015, I was honored to be named Galveston County’s Citizen of the Year by the Galveston County Daily Newspaper for my work in the preservation community. I’ve been actively engaged in preserving local, state, and national heritage sites. From serving on the Board of Advisors with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to my involvement in recognizing the Sugar Land 95, I’ve strived to expand the narrative and tell the truth about American history, particularly in Texas.
 
Q: How do you balance your professional career with your role as an Associate Minister at Greater St. Matthews Baptist Church?
 
Sam Collins, III: Balancing my professional career with my role as an Associate Minister is a testament to the importance of community and faith in my life. Both aspects complement each other, as they involve serving others and fostering positive change. My faith guides my actions both in my career and in my role at the church, allowing me to integrate my values into every aspect of my life.
 
Q: You’ve been actively involved in initiatives such as the Juneteenth Mural Committee and the campaign to #TellTheFullStory of American history. How do you see these efforts shaping the narrative of the past and impacting communities today?
 
Sam Collins, III: Initiatives like the Juneteenth Mural Committee and the #TellTheFullStory campaign are crucial in reshaping historical narratives and fostering a more inclusive understanding of our past. By acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of marginalized communities, we can promote healing, unity, and progress. These efforts not only honor the struggles and triumphs of those who came before us but also inspire us to create a more equitable and just society today.
 
Q: Your speaking engagements cover a wide range of audiences, from corporations to educational institutions. What message do you hope to convey through your speaking engagements, and how do you tailor your message to different audiences?
 
Sam Collins, III: Whether speaking to corporations, universities, or community groups, my message emphasizes the importance of acknowledging our shared history, confronting systemic injustices, and working together to build a better future for all. I tailor my message to resonate with each audience, drawing on relevant examples and themes to engage and empower listeners.
 
Q: Looking ahead, what are some of your upcoming projects or initiatives that you’re particularly excited about?
 
Sam Collins, III: I’m particularly excited about my work with the Texas Historical Commission at the Levi Jordan Plantation and the new African American museum that will be built at the site. This project presents a unique opportunity to honor and preserve the rich heritage of African Americans in Texas while educating future generations about their contributions to our state’s history. Additionally, I look forward to continuing my advocacy work and speaking engagements, amplifying voices that are often marginalized and advocating for positive change in our communities.
 
In every aspect of his life, Samuel Collins, III, exemplifies the essence of service, leadership, and advocacy. His unwavering dedication to his community, coupled with his passion for preserving history and promoting social justice, underscores a legacy of impact that transcends generations.
 
As Collins continues to forge ahead, his vision for a more inclusive and equitable society remains steadfast.
 
Through his tireless efforts, he not only preserves the past but also paves the way for a brighter future—one where the stories of all individuals are honored and celebrated.
 
Samuel Collins, III, stands as a beacon of inspiration, leaving an indelible mark on Galveston County and beyond.
 
For booking information about Sam Collins, III visit www.truthstrong.org

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