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In 1947 the World Alliance of YMCAs gained special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.In 1955 the first black president of the World Alliance of YMCAs, Charles Dunbar Sherman from Liberia, was elected.The Young Men's Christian Association, commonly known as the YMCA or simply the Y, is a worldwide organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, with more than 2 billion 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".Its motto was taken from the Bible, "That they all may be one" (John ).Other ecumenical bodies, such as the World YWCA, the World Council of Churches, and the World Student Christian Federation have reflected elements of the Paris Basis in their founding mission statements.The World Alliance's main motto is "empowering young people".
It stated what had become obvious in most national YMCAs; a global viewpoint was more necessary, and that in doing so, the YMCAs would have to take political stands, especially so in international challenges.
The YMCA was very influential during the 1870s and 1930s, during which times they most successfully promoted "evangelical Christianity in weekday and Sunday services, while promoting good sportsmanship in athletic contests in gyms (where basketball and volleyball were invented) and swimming pools." Later in this period, and continuing on through the 20th century, the YMCA had "become interdenominational and more concerned with promoting morality and good citizenship than a distinctive interpretation of Christianity." In 1878, World Alliance of YMCAs offices were established in Geneva, Switzerland.
Later, in 1900, North American YMCAs, in collaboration with the World Alliance, set up centres to work with emigrants in European ports, as millions of people were leaving for the USA.
In 1855, 99 YMCA delegates from Europe and North America met in Paris at the First World Conference of YMCAs, held before the 1855 Paris World Exposition of the same year.
They discussed joining together in a federation to enhance cooperation amongst individual YMCA societies.
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The YMCA "combined preaching in the streets and the distribution of religious tracts with a social ministry.