Founded in 1890, the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth began its mission in Fort Worth using a Gospel Wagon to reach out to residents. For its 120-year history, the YMCA has always been here for good – for the good of the community and its residents.

1890-1900: The YMCA begins in Fort Worth

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“You are respectfully invited to an informal meeting of the Y.M.C.A. in Fort Worth…” began a letter by Geo. B. Loving inviting those who would like to “cultivate a more intimate relationship among those who desire to engage in active Christian work and to discuss and formulate such plans as will give the best results. ” Thus, the YMCA was born in 1890 in Fort Worth, a transportation hub with eleven railroads, 18 churches and 65 saloons. The YMCA was organized as an outgrowth of a union revival service held in the Taylor Street Presbyterian Church.

Evangelical Roots
Soon after its formation, the YMCA purchased a Gospel Wagon which was described in the Fort Worth Gazette as being pulled by a fine large team of horses, and depicting the official seal of the local association stamped in gold letters under the driver’s seat. The Wagon also included an oak organ and benches for on-the-spot services. Monthly reports from the first year of the YMCA included a statement from the Gospel Wagon Workers which described the evangelical work of the early YMCA. One such report included the statement, “We run in opposition to Saloons, Gambling Houses, Variety Theaters and all places of evil resort. For the young men of Fort Worth.”

YMCA Today
The early evangelical roots of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth are still in evidence today as the YMCA strives to carry out its mission by instilling core values of respect, honest, responsibility and caring through programs available for all. As the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth looks toward the next decade, one of our strategic priorities will be focusing on youth development, preparing both young girls and young boys to succeed and serve, so that they can grow into strong, competent leaders who will continue to build on the YMCA’s foundation created 120 years ago.

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Welcome to the blog celebrating the 120-year history of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. In this blog, we will have information for those interested in history, Fort Worth or the YMCA – month by month, decade by decade.

Were you a YMCA member or participant years ago? Do you remember camp outs at Camp Carter or swimming at the Downtown Y? We invite you to share your YMCA memories in this blog – let us know what you remember or what you enjoy most now as a member of the YMCA. We can’t wait to hear from you!