Gene has a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. He is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and received Christ as a senior in high school. He was the first member of his family to become a Christian. Gene attended the University of Arkansas and was active in Chi Alpha campus ministry. He worked full time with Teen Challenge in adult and adolescent ministry from 1977-1989. Gene is also a Certified Ropes Course Facilitator. Gene worked as a counseling pastor in Bentonville, AR for several years and later returned to Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch. He and his wife Rose have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.
While still in high school, Justin Smith went on two short-term mission trips that changed his life. He felt God calling him to full-time ministry and later attended Southeastern Assemblies of God University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Bible with a minor in missions. While still in college, he began working professionally with troubled youth at the Lakeland Marine Institute in Lakeland, Florida. When he finished his degree in 1996, he moved to Arkansas, where he became a direct care staff member at Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch. Justin is now the Program Director at Teen Challenge.
Justin is a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God and is a certified instructor with “Handle with Care” (a behavioral management system). He is a certified low and high ropes facilitator and oversees the outdoor adventure portion of the Teen Challenge program. Justin has completed the CrossFit Level 2 Instructor training which has allowed TCAR to implement a CrossFit training program for all the students. He is currently enrolled in graduate school at John Brown University working towards a master’s degree in Science of Leadership. Justin married his high school sweetheart while still in college. He and his wife Holly have one son.
Joy is originally from California but grew up in Northwest Arkansas. In her late twenties, she surrendered her heart to the Lord. Joy is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and has a Bachelor’s degree in Education. She is also a certified teacher. Joy worked in the public school system before she founded Maranatha Christian School in 1992. She was the Principal and teacher at the school for 21 years before coming to Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch. Joy believes she has the perfect job now and that God is the answer and provides healing for the troubled boys she works with on a daily basis.
Jennifer is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has a Master’s degree in Counseling from John Brown University. Jennifer has been a full-time staff member or volunteer here since 2004. She previously owned her own private counseling practice and worked as a licensed counselor in southeast Kansas doing intensive in-home family therapy and helping parents with their at-risk children. While in Kansas, she also served as a youth pastor at her local church.
When asked about ministry to teenage boys, Jennifer replied, “There is no other place that I would rather be than working at Teen Challenge and being a small part of helping the Lord restore these young men and their families.” Jennifer and her husband, Tony, have been married since 2003.
Angela has a background in administration with the public school system where she worked for six years. She is originally from Pensacola, FL, and moved to Northwest Arkansas in 1989 with her husband and their two children. She later adopted three more children from the foster care system. She was not raised in a Christian home but has served the Lord faithfully since giving her heart to Christ in 1996. Angela has worked with the youth in her rural community by building a recreational soccer league and teaching youth the value of hard work and determination. She has also worked with her church as a Sunday school teacher and served as a youth sponsor for many years. In addition to full-time employment here, Angela is the Assistant Ministry Leader for the Celebrate Recovery program she started in her church in 2010. She has been part of the TCAR team since 2011.
Steve received his bachelor’s degree from Evangel University and holds a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from John Brown University. He has studied addiction and recovery through the American Association of Christian Counselors, is a certified parenting coach, and a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God. He felt God call him to work with teens in 2001 and he began volunteering much time with the youth in his church and community. In 2006 he decided to leave his career in the corporate world to join us at Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch. He says he has never regretted it. Steve believes the spiritual attack on these young men at an early age speaks to the significance of their calling. His passion is to see them become free from the issues that hold them back, so they can reach their potential and fulfill their purpose.
Karen earned her bachelor’s degree in Christian Education from North Central University in Minneapolis, MN. Before coming to work at Teen Challenge, Karen worked as a substitute teacher in South Dakota, California, and Arkansas. She came to work as a classroom teacher at Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch in January 2007 and is licensed by the Association of Christian Schools International (ASCI). She grew up in Minnesota in a Christian home and was active in youth group, youth camps, Sunday School and Choir. A mother of 4 grown children, she has been involved with youth for many years. Karen feels blessed to be part of the team.
Before coming to Teen Challenge, Kim was a teacher at a Christian school. Kim is originally from Westville, Oklahoma. Since joining the team in December of 2013, Kim has seen firsthand the positive impact Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch has on the lives of troubled boys; she considers it a blessing to be part of their recovery process and enjoys getting to know the students as they experience a change in their lives.
Kim has been involved with youth through her church for many years as a Youth Worship Leader and Sunday School and Missionettes Teacher. She is also currently the Director of The Grace Place, a food pantry and clothing store for people struggling in the community of Lincoln, Arkansas.
Josh grew up in Millville, Pennsylvania. With a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Valley Forge University, Josh has spent time teaching choir and giving music lessons as well as spending time as a youth pastor. His hope for troubled boys is for them to find a better way to cope with life. He has been part of the Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch team since 2013.
Ronnie was born and raised in Louisiana. After high school, he developed a personal relationship with Jesus and earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from East Texas Baptist University. He went on to work as a salesperson. Ronnie was promoted through the tiers toward financial success until God called him to the ministry nine years later. Ronnie began volunteering in the local community seeking ways to serve and meet the needs of the people around him. Soon after, he found and joined the team at Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch. He and his wife, Leah, have six children.
Charity has Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with an emphasis in Play Therapy from John Brown University. She grew up in Northwest Arkansas, just seven miles from Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch. She got her undergraduate degrees in Ministry and Behavioral Science from Mid-America Christian University. It was there that she met her husband, Jay Hall, and they married in July 2006. Since then, God has blessed Charity and her husband with two beautiful children. Charity did her counseling internship at TCAR and later joined the staff team as a therapist in March 2017. Charity has spent time in youth and children’s ministry, and her heart has always been to show God’s love to others. Her hope for troubled boys is that Christ opens the door to share about Him at the right time.
Chris grew up in the oldest town in Texas. He is a certified teacher and has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. Before coming to Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch, Chris spent time working with troubled youth in the alternative education system in Texas. His hope for troubled boys is that they come to know their identity in Christ. Chris and his wife, Ashley, have three children.
Andy has a master’s in Business Administration from John Brown University (2012) and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Studies Education from Evangel University (2004). He grew up in Southern Illinois, but as an adult has lived in many locations in the Mid-West and Wild West. Andy is a US Army Veteran and has had careers in Social Work and Business Management.
Andy began his work with TCAR as a college intern. After graduation, he worked full time as a direct care staff member before joining the Army. In 2016, Andy rejoined the staff team as an outdoor adventure staff. He was later promoted to Dean of students in 2018
Andy enjoys many types of outdoor recreational activities and has interest in small scale farming. Andy has dedicated his life to helping young men become the “History Maker” that Christ has called them to be.
Seth is originally from Stockton Illinois. During his freshman year of college, Seth volunteered in youth ministry at a local church. It was there that he felt God calling him to full-time ministry. He continued ministering to youth by using sports, outdoor recreational ministry programs, and serving in churches across the country. Seth has associate degrees in General Studies and Bible and Theology, and he completed a bachelor degree in Multidisciplinary Dtudies from Southeastern University in 2016. Later that year, Seth joined the staff team at Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch. Seth’s desire for these troubled boys is for them to “learn to walk out their faith in Christ.”
Jeff has lived in Northwest Arkansas for more than 20 years. He graduated from an Adult & Teen Challenge of Mid America program in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It was there that Jeff knew he was called to ministry. Jeff has since spent many years in ministerial service, working with troubled teenagers and participating in worship ministry as a singer and guitarist. His hope for troubled boys is that they learn to walk with God. He and his wife, Diane, have been married since 2002 and they have two children: Thomas and Grace.
Phil Bernhardt is originally from west-central Illinois. After feeling the call to enter full-time ministry, Phil attended Central Bible College in Springfield, MO, where he later earned a bachelor’s degree. While still in college, he heard a chapel message that encouraged him to learn more about the ministry of Teen Challenge. This led to a three-month internship with Teen Challenge and later to a full-time position with the ministry. Phil has been working faithfully as a direct care staff member at Teen Challenge Ranch of NW Arkansas since 1981. He has seen many lives transformed in his 35 plus years of service.
Crystal Reynolds grew up in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. During her fourth birthday party, she decided to follow Jesus and has never looked back since, following him to Texas to attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University. While a university student, she began working with at-risk children during the school year and troubled youth in the summers, interning in the classroom at Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch. In 2015, she received an English B.A. and Bible A.A. Working either in the educational or administrative departments, Crystal has been part of the Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch team since May of 2013.
Joshua grew up in a Christian home in Northwest Arkansas. His father was a pastor; his mother, a teacher. He did well in school but began experiencing depression and self-harm. God intervened in his life and gave Joshua hope for the future. Later, Joshua felt God calling him to work with teenagers. After a period of ministering in youth groups and Christian camps, God led him to Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch. Joshua believes troubled boys have the potential to be world changers, and his hope is for them to be saved from the same darkness that tried to defeat his own life. Joshua and his wife, Hannah, have one son and one daughter.
Kristy grew up in Lincoln, Arkansas. At the age of seven, she gave her life to Christ. For several years, she was aware of Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch through staff members and students that attended her church. She has an Associate’s degree from Northeastern University and has spent several years working in alternative education in public schools. Kristy has also volunteered in youth ministry at her local church for more than a decade.
Clint grew up in Morrow, AR. He always knew about Teen Challenge from growing up in the community, and his family has supported the ministry for many years. Clint is a licensed minister and spent more than a decade traveling in music ministry. He worked several years with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission before feeling God speak to his heart, telling him to leave his former job and seek employment at Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch. Clint’s hope for troubled boys is that they encounter the love of Jesus and understand how important they are to God.
Kim Huett was born in Ohio but grew up in Phoenix, AZ. Kim received a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from the University of Arizona and knew that she always wanted to work in non-profit. After spending ten years in various positions with the March of Dimes, Kim went on to work in higher education, at a museum, the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity.
Kim now lives in Fayetteville with her husband Kelly and their two fur babies, Buddy and Sugar. She has 1 adult son who lives in New Mexico. While bringing more than 25 years of non-profit development experience to Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch, Kim says that she is most excited about working for a true Christ-centered non-profit organization.
Adam is a licensed associate clinical social worker. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Before attending the U of A he completed his associate’s degree at ASUMH while also working within the banking world. God moved Adam from his small community to the growing northwest Arkansas area after revealing his call to ministry and also his call to further his education. Adam began working at Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch following his graduation. Adam feels that there is no better place to serve than in a ministry that aims to share Jesus with teenage boys. Adam considers it an honor and a privilege to serve as a small part of working towards spiritual, emotional, relational and physical health in the lives of the students who come to Teen Challenge.
Cynthia Montoto attended both Victory Bible Training Center and MCTC College earning her associate degree in ministry. She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree of ministry. Cynthia worked for Millennial Christian Center as a team leader in missions and outreach. She was very active in fund raising and travelling to promote the Gospel. Her heart truly is winning souls for the kingdom. In December 2018 Cynthia received her ordination by Bishop McIntosh as well as James and Susan Hall. Cynthia states that this was one of her highest honors. God led her to Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch in May of 2018. Her desire is to help these young men see what God has created them to be.
Tyler Tennison is an Arkansas native. He moved to Fayetteville in 2000 with his family and has since lived all over Northwest Arkansas. He graduated from Ecclesia College in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Christian Counseling. While in college, Tyler felt led to help with teens in his local youth group, and then in the summer of 2009, he worked at Camp War Eagle and fully accepted his call into youth ministry. When he saw the opening for Teen Challenge, he applied and told The Lord, “God if this is the job you have for me, open the door so wide there isn’t another option.” He was more than excited to accept the position of Case Manager. Working with these young men is not only his dream job, but is just as much his calling, and he loves every minute of it. As Tyler says, “I am blessed with the opportunity to be a blessing to these young men.”
We value education and academic success, considering it key to long-term life success. Most of our staff have advanced degrees. Many of the students who come here lack sufficient high school credit to obtain their diplomas in a timely manner, but we help them get caught up and even to retake classes for a higher GPA. Every boy on campus is taught and tutored several hours each day. Our disciplined and structured approach to learning, with individualized academic goals and progress, helps the boys get back on track with their education and our courses are fully accredited and transferrable.
Our outdoor adventure program is second to none. Our students have regular opportunities to experience fun and challenging indoor and outdoor physical activities. Students enjoy camping, backpacking, rappelling, canoeing, and spelunking (cave exploration). They are challenged physically and learn the importance of goals and perseverance.
“Teen Challenge gives our kids something to live for – a relationship with God, a healthy self-esteem, and a direction in their lives that finally leads somewhere.”
Former Attorney General
“Teen Challenge changes the world one person at a time.”
Founder, Prison Fellowship
“The Teen Challenge program succeeds when all of the government programs have failed.”
“Too many young [people] have already lost their lives. Teen Challenge works to change young people’s lives by changing their hearts.”
“In my opinion, Teen Challenge is doing the best all-around job of providing the kids with something meaningful in their lives. And that’s what they all need.”
Former US Drug Czar
“Of all the programs reported to the Commission, the most successful is the program conducted by Teen Challenge.”
Past Director, AT&T Corporation
“Teen Challenge is one of the most successful programs in our country.”