George Williams – Founder of the first YMCA – June 6th 1844

George Williams was born in Somerset, England on 11 October 1821. In 1836 he moved to London to work as an apprentice to a Draper, and by 1841 was working as a Draper’s. He stayed in the accommodation provided by the firm in the same building, and became one of the 150,000 young men like him that crowded the city of London

On 6th June 1844, George Williams, together with ten Christian young men, established the YMCA. “Our object is the improvement of the spiritual condition of the young men engaged in houses of business, by the formation of Bible classes, family and social prayer meetings, mutual improvement societies, or any other spiritual agency.”Williams was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1894, and after his death was commemorated with a stained-glass window in the nave of Westminster Abbey. Sir George Williams is buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral.