Mission & History

The YMCA areas of focus are youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our kids, our health, and our neighbors. We have been a vital part of the Greenville community for a number of years. We have continued to grow with the help of our donors and volunteers that make our mission possible. Through all these years our purpose still remains the same: to build a strong community.

The Greenville YMCA opened in 1923. Seven years later the Y relocated to Theobald Street and added an indoor pool. Constuction of the current facility was made possible by a generous gift from the Hodding Carter, Jr. family and additional community support. In January 1984 the Hodding Carter Memorial YMCA opened. The YMCA is named in honor of the late Hodding Carter. Jr., Pulitzer Prize Winning Publisher of the Delta Democrat Times. Hodding Carter Jr., a native son of Louisiana, came to Greenville from Hammond, LA, in 1936 to found a new daily newspaper. Two years later he and his partners bought out the existing daily and created the Delta Democrat-Times. Over the course of the next 34 years he wrote 22 books, over 500 magazine articles and a host of speeches, most of his topics being Southern-based and reform-minded. When he died in 1972 at age 65, he left behind three sons, a national reputation as a crusader for racial justice, and his wife, Betty W. Carter, his indispensable partner in marriage and virtually everything else, from the books to the newspaper. "Our town is different," he once proclaimed in a national magazine article about the town's relative moderation in a time of racist reaction (or segregationist frenzy), and the two Carters spent their lives trying to help Greenville make good of his proud boast.