TEEN CHALLENGE STORY
Teen Challenge began in Brooklyn, NewYork, when Rev. David Wilkerson, a young country preacher pastoring a church in eastern Pennsylvania read an article in LIFE magazine about seven teenagers who were on trial for murder. During a gang fight in Manhattan, these teens beat a young man to death. Troubled by what he read in the article, and sensing that God wanted him to do something for the teens, Wilkerson made a trip from his hometown in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania to the urban area of New York City. Some time after this, Rev. Wilkerson resigned his church in Pennsylvania and moved to the New York City area to work full time with teenage gang members. This new work was eventually called Teen Challenge.
Soon, Teen Challenge began to also offer help to those addicted to drugs and alcohol. During these early years, a large home was obtained on Clinton Avenue in Brooklyn. A year-long residential discipleship program was started in this facility. This Teen Challenge program is still helping people change their lives in today! Due to its success, residential Teen Challenge centers began cropping up in cities all across America. Most of the centers offer a 12-18 month residential program for men, women, boys, or girls. These centers are designed to help individuals learn how to live drug-free lives. The programs are discipline-oriented and offer a balance of Bible classes, work assignments, and recreation.
Teen Challenge has grown into one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind in the world.
In a day when drug abuse and addiction has crossed every geographic, economic, cultural and ethnic barrier, Teen Challenge is a refuge where freedom can be found. Every day God’s love and forgiveness is transforming lives from the inside out.
We offer hope for those who have grown up in families and communities where substance abuse creates a spiral of addiction, as well as those who come from stable and loving homes in good neighborhoods. Change can happen.
THE REAL STORY
The real story of Teen Challenge is a story about God’s power to change lives. We’ve seen it many times in the lives that have been transformed at Teen Challenge.
If you are someone who has addiction issues, there is hope. You can refresh the faith in your heart and your own story can be one of God’s love and restoration.