YMCA History The YMCA was founded in London, England in 1844 by George Williams and some friends. Their goal was to help young men like themselves find God. The first members were evangelical Protestants who prayed and studied the Bible as an alternative to vice. The first U.S. YMCA was started in Boston in 1851 by Thomas Sullivan, a retired sea captain and lay missionary. YMCAs spread rapidly across America, opening their doors to boys and men of all ages. Some YMCAs were started to serve specific groups such as railroad and factory workers, as well as African Americans, Native Americans and recent immigrants. After World War II, women and girls were admitted. Today, half of all YMCA members are female, and half are under age 18. Here in Darke County, the YMCA was founded in 1965. It was originally located at 212 E. Main Street in Greenville. In 1971, the Greenville facility located at 301 Wagner Avenue was opened. Renovations have been made over the years, including the addition of the Dorothy Coppock Hole Child Care Center in 1992 and the GTI Youth Gym in 1994. In 1998, the YMCA of Darke County opened a facility in Versailles.