In this manner the Association started an unprecedented - perhaps not
unprecedented - the early Christian Church started in much fashion, but with a difference. Early Christian converts went house bearing witness and breaking bread. George Wi1liams and co-workers went from shop to shop, urging apprentices to form and Bible classes. The growth could not be contained and went shop to shop but later from country to country.
the same from house to his young prayer groups not only from
The expansion of the Movement greatly accelerated at the time
of the London
Exhibition. The City attracted many visitors from all parts of the world. It was an occasion to publicise the aims and objectives of the new religious movement "The Young Men’s Christian Association". Tracts were distributed in tens of thousands. A vast programme of special meetings was arranged; prayer meetings, Bible study gatherings and social functions. Visitors from the Continent, the Colonies and especially America, were attracted and greatly interested. The Movement travelled East, West, North and South, but the pattern of its work remained as before - evangelical activities among young men.
Eleven years after the founding of the YMCA in London, George Williams was one of fifteen British delegates, together with representatives from Europe, America, and various Eastern countries to attend the first international conference of the YMCA which was held in Paris in 1855.
At these meetings the World Council of YMCAs was inaugurated. Two basic principles were adopted to be observed by all affiliated Associations:
1. That the Young Men's Christian Association was a World Organisation with one purpose and principle.
2. That while recognising the unity among Associations, the independence of each and all was preserved in the matter of organisation and modes of action.
It was at this conference that the Basis of Union was set forth in the following terms:
"The Young Men's Christian Association seeks to unite young men, who, regarding Jesus Christ as their God and Saviour according to the Holy Scriptures, desire to be His disciples in their doctrine and in their life, and to associate their effort for the extension of His Kingdom among young men."
It was on these principles and on this basis, formulated in Paris in 1855, t the structure of the Association, as a world movement, rested and continues rest up to the present time. Whenever thoughts are concerned with the basis, it ever be remembered" that the foundation of the Young Men's Christian Association was laid in a prayer meeting in George Williams’ bedroom - the U
Room - in the fervent and effectual prayer of two young men".
The fore-going account of events before and immediately after the founding of the YMCA is not so much concerned with the history of its founder as with the need to evaluate the aims and purpose of the Movement and to appreciate the modes and forms which those aims were expressed. George Williams had a spiritual experience on that Sunday night in Zion Chapel, Bridgwater, and his dedicated life was changed and poised to make every effort to assist young men to share that experience and the joy brought with it. Looked at in this light, the YMCA in its early days was an