The U.S. Census Bureau statistics (2009) report that over 24 million Americans play BASKETBALL and over 10 million Americans play VOLLEYBALL.
Did you know BASKETBALL and VOLLEYBALL were invented by instructors at the Young Men’s Christian Association – YMCA ?
James Naismith, a medical doctor and Presbyterian minister, invented the game of BASKETBALL at the YMCA training school in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891.
His colleague, William Morgan, as the physical education director at the YMCA in Holyoke, Massachusetts, invented VOLLEYBALL in 1895.
Charles Finney’s 1835 Revival Lectures inspired George Williams to found the YMCA-Young Men’s Christian Association-in 1844.
The Young Men’s Christian Association has grown to a membership of millions in 124 countries.
The early 1881 emblem for the YMCA had the names of the five parts of the world: Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa and America.
At the center of the emblem was an open Bible displaying John 17:21, referencing the verse:
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
In 1885, the words “Spirit-Mind-Body” in a triangle were added. Underneath the triangle were the letters XP, called the “Chi-Rho,” which were the first two Greek letters of the name of Christ.
YMCA Founder George Williams died NOVEMBER 6, 1905. He had stated:
“My life-long experience as a business man, and as a Christian worker among young men, has taught me that the only power in this world that can effectually keep one from sin, in all the varied and often attractive forms…is that which comes from an intimate knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as a present Saviour …”
George Williams continued:
“And I can also heartily testify that the safe Guide-Book by which one may be led to Christ is the Bible, the Word of God, which is inspired by the Holy Ghost.”
The Geneva, Switzerland chapter of the YMCA was founded by Henri Dunant in 1852. In 1859, Henri Dunant organized care for 23,000 dying and wounded at the Battle of Solferino, Italy. Henri Dunant then founded of the International Red Cross in 1863, for which he became the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1897, Henri Dunant supported Jews repopulating their traditional homeland by being one of the few non-Jews to attend the First Zionist Congress in Basel.
During the Civil War, D.L. Moody ministered to soldiers on the battle-lines with the YMCA’s United States Christian Commission.
When the 1871 Great Chicago Fire destroyed Chicago’s YMCA, D.L. Moody raised funds to rebuild it.
Chicago White Stocking baseball star Billy Sunday began attending YMCA meetings in 1886 before beginning his career as a revival preacher.
Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute began a Bible Training school in 1893 to prepare students for Christian ministry. Students helped out at community churches on Sundays; staffed a Humane Society; cared for area sick and needy; and ran a YMCA.
Booker T. Washington spoke at Memorial Hall in Columbus, Ohio, May 24, 1900, as recorded in The Booker T. Washington Papers, Vol. 5: 1899-1900, (Univ. of Illinois Press, 1976, p. 543-544):
“Dr. Washington began his address after a quartet sang. He spoke of the 91 YMCA Organizations for colored youths; of the 5,000 colored men studying the Bible, and of the 640 Bible students at Tuskegee.”
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