YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIA TIONS. Societies of young men composed of an active controlling membership identified with evangelical churches and of a more numerous associate membership not yet connected with the churches. All their work seeks to promote the physical, social, mental, and spiritual welfare of their members. • Noicrtf A if ERTCA. The in tile United States and Canada have been always affiliated. and in 1902 a promising organiza tion was added in the City of ..Nlexieo.
The first associations on the continent were organized in December. I55l, at Montreal and Ito-ton. both as a result of information received regarding the society organized seven years ear lier in London. England. Forty mm-c were formed within three years. Their first interim tional convention Wag held at Buffalo, N. V., dune 7, I s5-1. A confederation was formed, with a Central Committee and an amnial convention, which lasted until the Civil War. The war greatly diminished the membership, and the or ganizations that survived worked chiefly among soldiers in the field. At a special convention of
the Northern associations. held in New York, November. the United States Christian Colt mission was formed. it received the prar t lea I sympathy of the Christian publie, sent 5000 to camps and hospitals, and distributed over $5,000,000 in money and stores. The asso ciations in the South did similar army work, but not in a general organized capacity.
After the war the association entered upon a period of growth. Leading business men con sented to serve in official positions. Employed officers increased in number and much more in experience and efficiency. Carefully planned buildings were erected. the indebtedness on ear lier buildings was canceled, and great improve ment in equipment was realized. But the chief gain came in the steady advance, through ac cumulated experience, of all standards of work.
A general outline of this growth is shown in the following table: