Teen Challenge began in 1958 when David Wilkerson, author of The Cross and the Switchblade, 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 250 Teen Challenge Centers in the United States and over 2,000 centers worldwide in over forty different nations, making Teen Challenge the most effective program for offering hope to people in need.
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.
Appalachian Teen Challenge, Inc. was founded in 1985. The initial purpose of the ministry was to make referrals to other Teen Challenge Centers, and to build relationships within the community and surrounding areas. God opened many doors in the first few years, and in 1987, the ministry purchased land in Princeton, WV and opened a Training Center for adult men.
Born out of this ministry, Eastern Appalachian Teen Challenge began as a crisis counseling center in Roanoke, Virginia in 1998. Ten years later, the doors to the long-term Residential center for Teenage Girls were opened in 2008.
We also have a long-term residential center for Adult Women that just opened in 2019 in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Northern Appalachian Teen Challenge is our third training center of Adult and Teen Challenge, Appalachian Region.