the birth of ymca
This is the foundation and sets forth the unity and purpose of the entire membership.
- a lay Christian association
- a membership organization
- open to Christians and non-Christians
- a voluntary organization
- a non-profit organization
- concerned about the “whole” person – spirit, mind and body
- we aspire to formulate objectives which are based on Christian purpose
- we welcome youths and adults of both genders and of all ages, race and nationalities
The YMCA is a world Christian Movement, with the PARIS BASIS as its’ mission: “THE YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION SEEKS TO UNITE THOSE YOUNG MEN WHO, REGARDING JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR GOD AND SAVIOR, ACCORDING TO THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, DESIRE TO BE HIS DISCIPLES IN THEIR FAITH AND IN THEIR LIFE, AND TO ASSOCIATE THEIR EFFORT FOR THE EXTENSION OF HIS KINGDOM AMONGST YOUNG MEN. ANY DIFFERENCES OF OPINION ON OTHER SUBJECTS, HOWEVER IMPORTANT IN THEMSELVES, SHALL NOT INTERFERE WITH THE HARMONIOUS RELATION OF THE CONSTITUENT MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES OF THE WORLD ALLIANCE.” - AUGUST 22, 1855
The YMCA movement was founded on 6th June 1844 by Sir George Williams during the Industrial Revolution. Sir George Williams, Ted Beaumont and ten other young men decided to form a movement with the objective of bringing young men in London to Jesus Christ and steer them away from the temptations of a big, impersonal city that catered to carnal desires. The birth of the movement was virtually a replica of the meeting of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ in an upper room 19 centuries earlier.
Meetings, Bible readings, discussions, prayers and fellowship were held. It was not a group of people with pious or holier-than-thou attitudes. They were practical working men who were leading ordinary daily lives. But their earnestness of purpose inspired those around them.
Today, more than 150 years after its inception, the YMCA is one big international youth organization. Despite the varied programs promoted by different YMCAs throughout the world, the basic purpose for which it was organized by George Williams in 1844 remains the same. It seeks to unite Christian and non-Christian youths for the purpose of bringing them to Christ. This is the foundation of the YMCA. A secondary objective is symbolized by the three equal sides of the red triangle. It symbolises a balance growth in Spirit, Mind and Body.