Midlands Program Reaching Out to Gangs

In the Beginning

Teen Challenge was founded in 1958 in Brooklyn, New York by Pastor David Wilkerson. Wilkerson was a Pennsylvania country preacher who came to New York City in an attempt to speak with seven young gang members on trial for murder. He didn’t achieve his goal that day, but he achieved another. Seeing the plight of teens decimated by drugs, he founded Teen Challenge to reach gang members with a message of God’s love.

As the epidemic of drug addiction began to reduce the gangs in New York, the fledgling Teen Challenge and Wilkerson adapted to this new reality to help those bound by drug addiction. A program was developed to help residents overcome addictions and to learn to live as drug-free Christians in the real world.


In a day when drug abuse and addiction has crossed every geographic, economic, cultural and ethnic barrier, Teen Challenge is a refuge where freedom can be found. Every day God’s love and forgiveness is transforming lives from the inside out. We offer hope for those who have grown up in families and communities where substance abuse creates a spiral of addiction, as well as those who come from stable and loving homes in good neighborhoods. Change can happen.

Teen Challenge Columbia, SC

Today Teen Challenge offers help to over 28,000 men, women, boys and girls worldwide who face life-controlling problems. However, the most important Teen Challenge is the one closest to you. If you or a loved one has an addiction and truly wants help, we are here. In May of 2017 a Teen Challenge for adult men opened right here in Columbia, SC!

John Arnold

Program Manager

Teen Challenge Southeast Region

Columbia, South Carolina Men's Center


3332-A Leesburg Rd.

Columbia, SC 29209

803-834-5236 (office)

855-934-4673 (admissions)

270-875-9675 (cell)


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