History of Northern Appalachian Teen Challenge

Teen Challenge began in 1958 when David Wilkerson, author of The Cross and the Switch Blade, went into New York City to reach teenage gang members with a message of hope, founded on God’s love. Since then Teen Challenge has grown to be one of the largest and most successful ministries to hurting lives in America. Today, there are over 225 residential centers in America and over 1000 worldwide. Since Teen Challenge first opened its doors, tens of thousands of people have come seeking help – and help is what they have found. It provides one of the best Christian discipleship training programs available for persons experiencing life controlling problems.

Teen Challenge has been providing services in West Virginia and Eastern Virginia since 1985 starting with one men’s ministry center. It has grown today to include a men’s and women’s residential program in Princeton, West Virginia which has a long-term (12-18 month) program for men and women 18 and older, and Eastern Appalachian Teen Challenge which provides a residential program for adolescent girls age 12 to 17 and is located in Roanoke, Virginia.

Northern Appalachian Teen Challenge is a Crisis Referral Center opened in 2009 and is under the direction of Mike Stewart. The Crisis Referral Center is a introductory phase of Teen Challenge and provides immediate crisis intervention. This is the first phase a student must complete in order to advance in the program.

Building upon the established foundation of Appalachian Teen Challenge, Northern Appalachian Teen Challenge looks to the immediate or crisis situation that someone with a life-controlling problem finds themselves in, and we work to move that person through the crisis stage to a place of healing through one of our residential programs.

Because of the life changing decision his father made at Teen Challenge, this young man not only exists, but a whole family generation has been changed.