In case you don't know what Y.
M. C. A. means, it's The Young Men's Christian
Association (commonly known as YMCA, or simply
the Y). It's a worldwide organization based in
Geneva, Switzerland, with more than 57 million
beneficiaries from 125 national associations. It
was founded on 6 June 1844 by George Williams in
London and aims to put Christian principles into
practice by developing a healthy "body, mind,
The first time I recall
hearing the about the Y. M. C. A. was in the
movies, and I assumed it was some place to stay. So, why am I talking about the Y.
M. C. A.? Alderson had a Y. M. C. A., and also a Y. W. C. A.
Do you ever remember anyone talking about it.? I
felt this needed some investigation.
The following was taken from
the initial edition of the Aldersonian,
published by the Alderson Baptist Academy in
1922: Through the efforts of the
young men of Alderson Baptist Academy, a Y. M. C. A. organization has recently been
perfected. For a long time our school has felt
the need of an Christian organization among the boys.
the question of the proposed organization had
fully discussed, an invitation was sent to Mr.
J. Jones, general Secretary of the Y. M. C. A.
West Virginia University, to come and assist in
organization of our Y. Mr. Jones came April the
twenty seventh and proved to be a man of wide
experience in Y. M. C. A. work. In a very
way he presented the advantages and
of such an organization.
With his assistance a cabinet was soon formed.
the following officers being elected:
Ernest H. Midkiff, 1st Vice President.
D. L. Pennington, 2nd Vice President.
Edward Hodges, Secretary.
Leonard Gwinn, Treasurer.
Prof. E. M. Tomlinson, Faculty Adviser.
Our Y is now well under way and we have
bright prospects for the future. Among the many
things planned for the coming year are: new student work,
religious education, community and
campus service. We also expect to send representatives to the summer conference at
Our aim is to have all organization one hundred
per cent in efficiency, which will tend to
the social as well as the religious side of
life. The old students will be glad to get back
into the Y next fall, and new students will be
given especial help and attention.
The girls of our school saw
the need of a spiritual organization just for
girls, and the best one fitted for our needs, as
we saw it, was the Y.
C. A.. which was started in February.
This organization has meant a great deal to
our girls, and also to the school.
We wanted a room to call our own where we
could spend our leisure time and enjoy a rest
our own rooms.
Therefore, we earned enough money to fix an
attractive room. It is just like a nice big
room of a home.
Then the Y. W. C. A. social committee plans a
social once a month.
The spiritual side is no less important than the practical. In our weekly meeting there is always
the worship period, and besides some evenings are
given entirely to spiritual development. Prayer
groups have been organized and we attribute the
success of winning all, but a very few of our
for Christ to the influence of these prayer
This is only the beginning
of great things which we hope to do next year.
Two of our girls are going to attend the Eagle's
Mere Conference in June, where they will gather
information and enthusiasm for use in our school next fall.
One of the largest plans we have for next fall
is the “Big Sister idea." A list of the
girl students will be handed to the Y. W. C. A.,
each of the girls will be given one of these
The girl who has been here and knows all about
the school is to write to the girl assigned her
summer, get her more interested in coming to
school, and answer any questions. When school
opens she must be at the train to meet her
sister" and help her register, and to get
a nice room. Then she must be a sister to her
she becomes acquainted and is at the point where
she does not grow homesick anymore.
One of the charming affairs we are looking for
ward to this fall is the Entertaining of 1 Y. W.
A. Cabinet Conference. We feel that it is a great
honor because it is the first conference of this
held in this part of the state. There will be
about fifty of the finest girls from several
schools such as: Marshall, Morris Harvey, and
Lewisburg Seminary. The best of the Y. W. C.
A. speakers will be here. It will be a great treat
for all girls.
So there you have the
beginning of the "Y" in Alderson. I don't
know when the Y ended. One could assume when the
A. B. A left Alderson in 1931 for Philippi WV,
the Y disbanded , or went with the A. B. A..
I'm always surprised of the
many things that Alderson had before I arrived
in the 40s. Perhaps before I leave this world,
even "newer" old things will come to the