Friends Meeting of San Antonio                     Find us on Facebook


A Quaker Presence in South Texas

 About our Meeting

                    A HISTORY OF UNPROGRAMMED FRIENDS

 IN SAN ANTONIO

                  

After World War II, San Antonio was known as Military
City U.S.A. with five large bases. From 1954 through 
1957 AFSC Institutes of International Relations workshop
were held here. A few interested people held a study
group for some time after these. It was reported that
in 1956 the only places Quakers could hold public
meetings in San Antonio were at the YMCA and YWCA
(because of the loyalty oath, mixed groups, etc.).
Texas military was under orders not to share
the platform with AFSC. Between 1956 and 1961
periodic Meetings for Worship were held at Fort
Sam Houston for non-combatants who wanted to
get out of the army.
Elmer (Rusty) and Marian Carter came to San Antonio
in the fall of 1966. With people who had attended
the earlier worship group, The Carters began holding
Meetings for Worship in their home.
 
Later, meetings were held in the YWCA, an ’s
waiting room of Houston Wade, attorney, at the New Age
School, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center,
and at the SAC Methodist Student Center.
In 1979 a serious young man in US
Army uniform attended meeting. He was concerned 
that San Antonio Friends did not have a
meetinghouse and donated $5 to start a Building
Fund.
 
The San Antonio Worship Group was initially under
the care of the Austin Monthly Meeting, and became
a Preparative Meeting in 1976. The Meeting approved
an annual budget with a Building Fund, rented
an additional room at the YWCA for the children,
and a First Day School was begun.
 
Friends planned a fundraising campaign and searched
for a suitable building the Meeting could buy for
a meetinghouse. A Development Committee was formed.
No house was found but a property on Sunset Road
appeared to be a suitable site on which to build,
and the Meeting bought the property in 1995.
 
Lake/Flato Architects was selected to design the 
meetinghouse. Ted Flato studied designs of Quaker
meetinghouses, consulted with members of the Meeting
and designed a simple, functional meetinghouse with
a meeting room, library, two children's rooms,
a kitchen, walkway, porch, toilets and storage.
 
A stone wall with a gate separated the meetinghouse 
from the parking area. Some neighbors opposed
"a church, "so the Meeting decided not to resist
but to sell the property. A family purchased it,
wishing to build a large house with all the
amenities their young, disabled son would need.
The meeting bought our Vandiver property in 1998
and celebrated a Groundbreaking in 2000.
All except the meeting room was built and we
moved in in December, using a temporary meeting room.
 
A landscaping plan for the property was made.
The rock garden and then the pergola added to
the sense of quiet simplicity. Our Meeting has
since been able to build a meeting room, designed
by Bob Harris of Lake/Flato, which provides a
spacious and attractive room looking out on
trees at its southern end.