Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) took birth in London in 1844 against the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution had drawn thousands of young men to the new manufacturing centres in England. The squalid and unsafe living conditions both in the workplace and at home made their life miserable. George Williams, a 23 year old draper who was typical of these young men founded the first YMCA in London on 6 June 1844 with the purpose of “the improving of the spiritual conditions of young men engaged in the drapery, embroidery and other trades”. The new organization was dedicated to putting into practice Christian principles by developing a healthy spirit, mind and body. YMCA instilled a sense of direction and hope in the minds of the industrial workers through prayer and Bible study. The YMCA idea, although began among evangelicals, soon crossed the rigid religious and social barriers that existed in England in those days. This trait of openness attracted all men, women and children irrespective of race, religion and nationality to the new movement. YMCA now adopts a holistic approach to individual and social development encompassing spiritual, intellectual and physical methods.

Presidents of the Trivandrum YMCA over the years:
Rev Samuel Mateer  LMS Missionary, Trivandrum 1873-1889
Rev. V. Moses LMS Pastor, Trivandrum  1889-1931
Justice H.S .Chatfield Chief Justice of Travancore 1931-1953
K. George  Chief Secretary, Travancore-Cochin 1953-1955
E. John Philipose Minister, Travancore-Cochin 1955-1959
Justice T.K. Joseph Judge, High Court of Travancore-Cochin.
Vice-President, World Alliance of YMCAs
Dr. A. Abraham Professor, University of Kerala and Secretary to Govt. of India 1972-1987
P.K. Koruth Banker and Planter 1987-1990
John Varghese Social Scientist, University of Kerala 1990-1995
L. John Deputy Commissioner of Excise, Kerala 1995-1996
Dr. P.A. Thomas Director & Prof. of Plastic Surgery, Trivandrum Medical College 1996-1998
P.V. Varghese State Librarian, Kerala 1998-1999
M. Rajan Panicker IA &AS Deputy Accountant General, Kerala 1999-2001
K.V. Thomas Director of State Treasuries, Kerala 2001-2003
Babu K. Mathew Superintending Engineer (Retd.), State PWD 2003-2004
P.K. Kurien Chartered Accountant 2004-2005
K.V.Thomas Retd. Director of State Treasuries 2005-2006
Babu K Mathew Superintending Engineer (Retd.), State PWD 2006-2007
Dr. K.J. Punnoose Surgeon, L.R. Medical Trust Hospital 2007-2008
K.V. Thomas Retd. Director of State Treasuries 2008-2009
K.V. Thomas Retd. Director of State Treasuries 2009-2010
Dr. S.G. Churchin Ben Professor, CSI Medical College, Karakonam 2010-2011
Dr. Varghese M. Mathunny Principal (Retd.), St. Johns College, Anchal 2011-2012
Dr. Varghese M. Mathunny Principal (Retd.), St. Johns College, Anchal 2012-2013
Former General Secretaries of the Trivandrum YMCA
M. Mathew Hon. Secretary 1873-1890
Gabriel Hon. Secretary 1890-1912
J.F. Thadeus General Secretary 1912-1922
K.C. Thomas General Secretary 1922-1923
Thomas P. Chandy General Secretary 1923-1935
T.C.Idicula General Secretary 1935-1963
M. John Thomas General Secretary 1963-1988
Kurian Philip General Secretary 1988-1994
Jacob Joseph General Secretary 1994-1998
Thomas Abraham General Secretary 1998-2011
Kurien Philip General Secretary 2011-2012
Shaji James General Secretary 2012