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Teen Challenge History

History of Teen Challenge

The First Teen Challenge Ministry

Teen ChallengeTeen Challenge started in Brooklyn, New York in 1958 by Rev. David Wilkerson. Wilkerson was a young country preacher pastoring a church in eastern Pennsylvania. One February afternoon, Wilkerson 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 God wanted him to do something for the teens, Wilkerson made a trip from his hometown — away from the negative impact of friends and familiar places — away 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.

Since that day till now, the Teen Challenge ministry has spread across the United States and in multiple countries around the world. Then as now, the ministry of Teen Challenge reaches out to troubled individuals and their families. Centers have been established for men, women, boys, and girls.

The rest of the story of Teen Challenge is told in the best-selling book, The Cross and the Switchblade. This book has sold tens of millions of copies and has been translated into 35 different languages. Another exciting book that is available, Run Baby Run tells of notorious gang member Nicky Cruz who was one of David Wilkerson’s early converts in New York City. Beyond the Cross and the Switchblade and The Cross is Still Mightier than the Switchblade also detail important early history of Teen Challenge.

Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch

In the 1970’s, John and Nelda Nevels started taking troubled and hurting boys into their home in Morrow, Arkansas. This Christ-centered outreach was known as the King’s Ranch. In 1973, this ministry became affiliated with Teen Challenge International, USA and became the first residential Teen Challenge program exclusively for teenage boys. The King’s Ranch grew and eventually moved to its current location in 1980. Because of the kindness and generosity of the people of Morrow, Arkansas, the ministry was allowed to move to 5 acres of land and buildings that had previously been used by the Morrow Community school district. Later, an additional 30 acres were purchased for expansion. In 1993, the ministry changed its name to Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch of Northwest Arkansas.

What started out in a home on a hill in the Ozark Mountains has now grown into a powerful, life-changing ministry provides assistance to troubled boys and their families from across the United States.

We can also help you in your search for other Christian military schools, troubled teen boarding schools, rehab centers near me, ranch for troubled teens near me, therapeutic christian boarding schools, or ranches for troubled boys. Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch is a Christian therapeutic boarding school and boys home. Boys come to our therapeutic school and home in Northwest Arkansas from across the United States. We help at-risk boys who struggle with behavioral issues. Therapeutic boarding schools and boys homes like Teen Challenge offer behavioral therapy and a rehab for troubled teen boys with teen counseling for boys. It is an affordable therapeutic ranch for at-risk teenage boys, boys with anger, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or rebellion. If you are searching for alternative schools or residential treatment centers for boys, addiction treatment for teens, troubled youth homes, troubled teen schools or troubled teen boarding schools, you have found one. A top therapeutic school and addiction treatment center for teenage boys, we may also be referred to as a “school for troubled teens”. Troubled teen schools and residential treatment programs for addicted teens provide troubled pre-teen and teenage boys with counseling and addiction treatment.

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Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch became the first residential Teen Challenge program exclusively for troubled teenage boys.