To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
The YMCA founded upon Christian principles and a desire to strengthen communities through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Our programs are based on Christian principles and the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
How the YMCA Was Founded
In 1844, George Williams, a twenty-two-year-old working under harsh factory conditions during the Industrial Revolution, was troubled by London’s bleak landscape of tenement housing and dangerous influences. He joined 11 friends to organize the first Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men seeking escape from the hazards of life on the streets. The organization strove to meet social needs in their community and was open to members all across rigid lines separating English social classes.
The original Mission Statement created in Paris read: “The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) 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 efforts for the extension of His Kingdom amongst young men.
It was also decreed at this time that differences of opinion on other matters, however important, should not interfere.
Mission Continued and Reaffirmed
In the mid-1900s, John Mott helped continue and expand the mission. He was such a Christian statesman for the YMCA that he was asked to serve as the Secretary of State for the U.S. President. He declined this position saying, “I feel like I could do more good through the YMCA.” His work through the YMCA eventually led him to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
One hundred years later, in 1973, original mission the Paris Basis reaffirmed the Y’s commitment to Christian principles, “Christ is the center of the Movement, which is conceived as a worldwide fellowship uniting Christians of all confessions. It is consistent with an open membership policy involving people irrespective of faith as well as age, sex, race and social conditions.”
Today, each branch of the YMCA in Peirce and Kitsap County has a Mission Team dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of spiritual engagement and conversations within the Y experience.