The program had its beginning in New York City in 1958, in the midst of a gang murder trial. Seven young boys had viciously attacked and killed a 15 year old kid that was caught between two rival gangs in a turf war. Rev. David Wilkerson had read the story and traveled from a small town in Pennsylvania to ask the judge for permission to help the boys.
He was rudely ejected from the courtroom and his picture was displayed across the city on front page newspapers. In the strangest of ways, this introduced him to the street gangs as someone who was “fighting for them”; and, he began to be invited into their clubhouses and allowed to share a message of hope through Jesus. Through some very intense encounters, his message was finally accepted and Teen Challenge was created as a street level ministry.
Rev. Wilkerson began purchasing property for a residential home for the men in Brooklyn; and, from that point a farm was purchased in Rehrersburg, PA for a TEEN CHALLENGE TRAINING CENTER. During the late 50’s his success became widely known; and, the ministry began to spread across America with hundreds of residence places to help teens and adult drug addicts. The growth and success was put in book form in “The Cross & The Switchblade” and instantly became a best seller and is still a very popular book. The rapid growth and success caught the eye of Hollywood producers, as Pat Boone and Eric Estrada starred in the movie version of “The Cross & The Switchblade” in 1972. The movie was filmed on the streets of Brooklyn, with the flavor of the day and in language that rocked the established religious world. It still holds a special place in the lives of those who understood what was happening in the recovery world.
Adult & Teen Challenge of South Carolina is aligned with over twelve hundred places around the world, in over 117 countries, providing HELP AND HOPE to those seeking freedom from drugs.
We were established in South Carolina in 1989 on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach as a CRISIS CENTER. At first we were assisting and guiding young men and women into established Teen Challenge Centers along the East Coast. After a successful 13 years in Myrtle Beach, we were able to purchase 45 acres and build a full residential center, where our students live for the entire year of studies.
If you or someone you know is interested in gaining entrance into the program, the first step is to call the office for a phone interview; and, someone will be glad to assist you in that search.