1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Y. M. C. A.

Barry Worrell - October 14, 2016

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, and spirit".

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.

Y. M. C. A.

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. After the question of the proposed organization had been fully discussed, an invitation was sent to Mr. W. J. Jones, general Secretary of the Y. M. C. A. of West Virginia University, to come and assist in the 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 graphic way he presented the advantages and possibilities of such an organization.

With his assistance a cabinet was soon formed. the following officers being elected:

Roy B. Dameron, President.
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 Blairstown, N. J.

Our aim is to have all organization one hundred per cent in efficiency, which will tend to develop 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. W. 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 from our own rooms. Therefore, we earned enough money to fix an attractive room. It is just like a nice big sitting 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 girls for Christ to the influence of these prayer groups.

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 prospective girl students will be handed to the Y. W. C. A., and each of the girls will be given one of these names. The girl who has been here and knows all about the school is to write to the girl assigned her this 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 “little sister" and help her register, and to get settled in a nice room. Then she must be a sister to her until 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. C A. Cabinet Conference. We feel that it is a great honor because it is the first conference of this kind held in this part of the state. There will be about fifty of the finest girls from several different 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 surface.

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