A Brief History of the YMCA Movement

The Young Men’s Christian Associated was founded in London, England on June 6, 1844, in response to unhealthy social conditions arising in the big cities at the end of the Industrial Revolution. The idea proved popular everywhere. In 1851 the Y arrived in North America with the first Y in the United States located in Boston.

The Y movement began in Wilson, NC in February 2000 when about 80 interested residents met at Forest Hills Middle School. YMCA status was granted on December 21, 2001. The Fitness Company was purchased in February 2002. Additional space was added in 2003 and The Robin Givens Youth Wellness Center was dedicated in July 2009. The location on Airport Blvd. is our current operation site, with plans to open the new facility in Historic Downtown Wilson in late Summer 2022. 

The Wilson Family YMCA is a non-profit community service organization. Collectively, YMCA’s are the largest non-profit community service organization in the United States. The Y is for all faiths, races, ages, abilities, and incomes: everyone is welcome. The mission of the YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirits, mind and body for all.

Though the Y has evolved over time, our holistic approach to health and well-being has been a consistent theme in our history. Relationships help others to weather the ups and downs of change. With the support of a collaboration of members, volunteers and community partners allows the Wilson Family YMCA to make a huge impact and improve the health and well-being in our community.

Although our history is short, it is equally as mission driven. We strive to reinforce a sense of personal worth of self and others. Our values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility are absolutely at core to who we are. They drive our work as a cause-driven human service organization.