Y History

George Williams founded the YMCA in 1844.

In 1844, industrialized London was a place of great turmoil and despair. For the young men who migrated to the city from rural areas to find jobs, London offered a bleak landscape of tenement housing and dangerous influences.

Twenty-two-year-old George Williams, a farmer-turned-department store worker, was troubled by what he saw. He joined 11 friends to organize the first Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men seeking escape from the hazards of life on the streets.

Although an association of young men meeting around a common purpose was nothing new, the Y offered something unique for its time. The organization’s drive to meet social need in the community was compelling, and its openness to members crossed the rigid lines separating English social classes. Years later, retired Boston sea captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan, working as a marine missionary, noticed a similar need to create a safe “home away from home” for
sailors and merchants. Inspired by the stories of the Y in England, he led the formation of the first U.S. YMCA at the Old South Church in Boston on December 29, 1851.

The Y is the organization that…

  • Saw to and met the practical and spiritual needs of young men flocking to London during the Industrial Revolution.
  • Has served the military and military families in every U.S. conflict since the Civil War.
  • Inspired the formation of the U.S.O., Peace Corps and Father’s Day.
  • Met immigrants coming off the boats at Ellis Island to offer services and support in making a new life.
  • Began the first night school and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.
  • Invented group swimming lessons, basketball, volleyball and racquetball, and
    gave them to the community.
  • Provided quality and affordable child care when women began joining the
    workforce in droves.
  • Began values education at a time of social unrest.

GSV YMCA – History

In 1889, the Milton YMCA was founded as a non-profit organization in central Pennsylvania.

In 1891, the Sunbury YMCA was founded and began serving the community.

The two organizations merged in January 1993 to form the Greater Susquehanna Valley (GSV)YMCA.

The YMCA Arts Center opened as a part of the GSV YMCA in November 2005.

In April 2016, the Mifflinburg YMCA was incorporated under the umbrella of the GSV YMCA.

In February 2018, the GSV YMCA opened a temporary location at the Silver Moon Fitness Center to serve the Lewisburg area.

In December 2019 the Lewisburg YMCA opened at the Miller Center powered by Evangelical Community Hospital and Geisinger.

In April 2024, the Middlecreek Area Community Center merged with the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA to become the Middlecreek Area Community YMCA.


In 1992 a few concerned citizens talked about building a recreation center in western Snyder County. With overwhelming support from the community, the group began the journey towards having a recreation center serving western Snyder County. The West Snyder Recreation Association was incorporated in May of 1993.  A 3.8-acre lot in Beaver Springs was purchased and preliminary plans were approved in May of 1995. With a concentrated effort from contractors and many, many volunteers the Middlecreek Area Community Center (MACC) opened its doors to the public on May 18, 2002.

Are you interested in a career with the YMCA? Please fill out the form below and we will contact you with an application.