Adult & Teen Challenge, USA

The information on this page was last updated 2/5/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


With more than 200 residential centers within the US and Canada, Adult & Teen Challenge (ATC) is a faith-based non-profit headquartered in Ozark, Missouri. Through effective discipleship, mentoring, and life-skills training, ATC and its affiliates have seen positive outcomes and radical life-transformation throughout its sixty-year history.

Adult & Teen Challenge USA works on a Christ-centered model of drug and alcohol recovery. This means that we are concerned with the body, mind, and spirit of those who come to our addiction recovery centers. We endeavor to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Adult & Teen Challenge, USA
5250 N Towne Center Dr
Ozark, MO 65721


Phone: 417-581-2181

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 431353323

CEO/President: Gary Blackard

Chairman: Dr. Ava Oleson

Board size: 17

Founder: David Wilkerson

Ruling year: 1985

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 03/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1996


We at Adult & Teen Challenge USA are confident that a restored relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, can transform those who suffer from addiction into vibrant, free, and sober followers of the Lord.

We base the curriculum and community of our addiction recovery centers on God's Word-the Bible. Addiction recovery centers that offer practical, appropriate, and accessible Bible-based courses facilitate the transition from alcoholism and substance abuse to a life of freedom in Christ. At Adult and Teen Challenge USA, we offer a chance to start over, become a new person, live a godly life, and find freedom through a restored purpose and an eternal hope. We do this through classes, individual study, personal mentoring, work ethics training, and involvement in the Christian community.

Mission statement

Our mission is to provide adults & teens freedom from addiction and other life-controlling issues through Christ-centered solutions.

Statement of faith

This "Statement of Fundamental Truths" contains the 16 doctrines of the Assemblies of God.

1. The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.

2. The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent "I AM," the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

3. The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare: His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His substitutionary work on the cross, his bodily resurrection from the dead, His exaltation to the right hand of God.

4. Man was created good and upright; for God said, "Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness." However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God.

5. Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

6. The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Saviour and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life.

7. All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry.

8. The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.

9. Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God.

10. The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven.

11. A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the fourfold purpose of leading the Church in: Evangelization of the world. Worship of God. Building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son. Meeting human need with ministries of love and compassion.

12. Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.

13. The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church.

14. The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on earth for one thousand years.

15. There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

16. "We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness." For the full statement of faith (with references and defined terms), visit

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Community Development

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating1010 of 1104110 of 122
Fund acquisition rating1005 of 1105105 of 122
Resource allocation rating1020 of 1105114 of 122
Asset utilization rating592 of 110464 of 122

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$308,639$300,704$249,774$175,024$338,113
Short-term investments$229,226$251,587$0$0$733,590
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$927,279$986,446$820,877$995,180$1,260,568
Long-term investments$1,183,000$1,214,596$0$0$0
Fixed assets$723,368$732,173$752,082$781,065$807,332
Other long-term assets$100,944$43,102$1,202,789$412,062$398,404
Total long-term assets$2,007,312$1,989,871$1,954,871$1,193,127$1,205,736
Total assets$2,934,591$2,976,317$2,775,748$2,188,307$2,466,304
Payables and accrued expenses$206,703$161,111$128,668$111,520$77,294
Other current liabilities$47,118$26,990$98,075$4,864$51,553
Total current liabilities$253,821$188,101$226,743$116,384$128,847
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$33,147$13,687$8,103$12,688$924
Total long-term liabilities$33,147$13,687$161,603$12,688$924
Total liabilities$286,968$201,788$388,346$129,072$129,771
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$2,179,505$2,245,321$1,875,167$1,931,281$2,233,872
With donor restrictions$468,118$529,208$512,235$127,954$102,661
Net assets$2,647,623$2,774,529$2,387,402$2,059,235$2,336,533
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$1,405,614$1,394,255$462,861$666,041$654,452
Program service revenue$753,877$900,198$296,550$529,842$363,326
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$34,466$52,059$18,599$35,537$31,930
Other revenue$414,576$308,289$102,223$205,592$155,141
Total other revenue$1,202,919$1,260,546$417,372$770,971$550,397
Total revenue$2,608,533$2,654,801$880,233$1,437,012$1,204,849
Program services$1,745,169$1,598,651$510,440$1,077,501$751,235
Management and general$571,042$402,026$216,307$609,069$399,146
Total expenses$2,609,924$2,313,034$779,754$1,714,310$1,175,004
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)($1,391)$341,767$100,479($277,298)$29,845
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($1,391)$341,767$100,479($277,298)$29,845


Gary BlackardPresident/CEO$155,843

Compensation data as of: 9/30/2022

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 2/5/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


Led by incredible faith, David Wilkerson made a seemingly bizarre step from his country pulpit in 1958 to the streets of New York City, where a murder trial of seven teenage boys churned society's antipathy toward them. Even Wilkerson was bewildered by his sense of compassion but, in spite of doubt, he followed the Spirit's prompting to help the boys.

Wilkerson's outreach to gangs in New York led to the development of Teen Challenge. From our simple beginnings, Teen Challenge has grown to over 200 locations in the US and over 1000 around the world. The explosive growth of Teen Challenge continues to be a true move of God.

1958 - "Go and help those boys"

After seeing an article in Life magazine about a murder by teenage gangs, David Wilkerson heard God speak, "Go to New York City and help those boys."

February 28, 1958 - Escorted from the courtroom

David went to the trial, but was escorted from the courtroom after being denied access to the boys. The next day his photo appeared in New York Daily News. Later, teens on the streets recognized and accepted him from this picture in the paper.

July 12, 1958 - The hardest to believe

On the last night of a series of rallies, dozens of gang members came forward to accept Christ as their Savior, including Nicky Cruz and Israel Narvaez from the Mau Maus. Nicky was the hardest to believe, David Wilkerson later related. The next morning they traded their weapons for Bibles.

1960 - Coffeehouses in Greenwich Village

David's mother moved to New York City with Faye Mianulli and started two coffeehouses in Greenwich Village: The Lost Coin and The Living Room. They made many referrals to Teen Challenge and saw many young people come to Christ.

December 1960 - A permanent home

Teen Challenge purchased its first building at 416 Clinton Avenue in Brooklyn in December, 1960.

1961 - Teen Challenge reaches the Midwest

As the word spread about the successes on the streets of New York, others wanted to use the Teen Challenge model in their cities. Chicago opened a Teen Challenge to work with the addicted.

1962 - Residential discipleship is born

Frank Reynolds became the first director of Teen Challenge Training Center in Rehrersburg, Pennsylvania. He literally built "the Farm" from the ground up, and developed the men's discipleship program that would become the primary model for Teen Challenge centers worldwide.

1963 - Teen Challenge spreads to the South

Four couples-the Foltzes, Burrs, Hunts and Rutherfords-pooled their resources and started Dallas Teen Challenge after hearing David Wilkerson preach during a chapel service at Southwestern Assemblies of God College in Waxahachie, Texas.

February 28, 1963 - Publishing phenomenon

The Cross & the Switchblade was written and later became a publishing phenomenon-selling 11 million copies in the first 10 years.

1964 - Teen Challenge reaches the West Coast

Teen Challenge has spread across the country, and opened in San Francisco

1967 - A women's center

A women's center in Garrison, New York, opens. Through a donation from Tiffany's president and longtime Teen Challenge supporter, Walter Hoving, the dream of a female home for those addicted to drugs became a reality.

1971 - New leadership

David Wilkerson handed over leadership of the Brooklyn center to his brother, Don Wilkerson, who held the position for 16 years.

1972 - The Cross and the Switchblade on the big screen

The Cross & the Switchblade opened in 5,000 theaters and has since been dubbed into more than 30 languages.

1973 - National leadership

Frank Reynolds moves from "the Farm" in Rehrersburg, Pennsylvania, to Springfield, Missouri, to become the first national president to coordinate the growing Teen Challenge ministry. There were 52 ministries at that time.

1976 - Government study

A government-sponsored study focused on Teen Challenge Rehrersburg graduates - 67% were completely drug free. Dr. Hess's conclusion was, "There is no question in my mind, that the Teen Challenge program is the most successful one that I have ever seen."

1976 - Steve Hill graduates

Steve Hill graduated Teen Challenge of Mid-America and goes on to be an evangelist, missionary, and a key leader of the famous Brownsville revival in Florida, which reached more than 3 million people with the Gospel.

1977 - Discipleship curriculum

Dave Batty joined Teen Challenge as the National Curriculum Coordinator. For the next 20 years Dave wrote classroom materials to train new Christians on a variety of practical topics, including Anger and Personal Rights, How Can I Know I'm a Christian, Attitudes, and Temptation.

1987 - "Just Say No"

Nancy Regan visited Teen Challenge of Tennessee in Chattanooga as part of her "Just Say No" campaign. There were 108 Teen Challenges in 1987.

1988 - Overcoming sexual abuse

Committed to Freedom, written by Sallie Culbreth, was published by Teen Challenge to help students who were victims of sexual abuse - a major topic of concern, since a majority of women and men at Teen Challenge suffer from sexual abuse.

1990 - Training for graduates

Teen Challenge Ministry Institutes were developed in California and Florida to train graduates who felt called to the ministry of Teen Challenge.

1994 - Study of effectiveness

A Study of Teen Challenge of Chattanooga graduates from 5-20 years. 67% were drug free while 80% said that their personal relation with Christ was a major influence in resisting drugs.

1999 - A new study

A Northwestern University study of the three largest Teen Challenges found 86% drug-free after three years.

2003 - National radio

Lynette Scherber began production of public service announcements for the Teen Challenge ministry, and were quickly accepted by countless radio programs across the country.

2003 - Presidential appointment

President George W. Bush appointed Dennis Griffith, Executive Director of Southern California, to serve on the White House Advisory Commission on Drug-free Communities.

2007 - Drug prevention

Teen Challenge launched a hard-hitting, fast-paced, national drug prevention program for youth entitled Stay Sharp.

2008 - 50th anniversary celebration

Teen Challenge staff, students, and friends from around the world gathered in New York City to celebrate 50 years of miracles. The Teen Challenge 50 Years of Miracles book and DVD were debuted, documenting the miraculous history.

April 27, 2011 - Homegoing

David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge, went to be with the Lord.

2012 - Condensed version

A condensed version of The Cross & the Switchblade is produced to share the story with a new generation.

2013 - Record-setting song

Hello, My Name Is, a song written by Christian singer, songwriter Matthew West about Teen Challenge graduate Jordan Jeffers breaks the Billboard record for number of weeks at #1 on the Christian/Gospel music chart - 17 weeks!

2014 - 50 years of broadcasting

Teen Challenge receives the National Religious Broadcaster's Milestone award for exemplary service in the industry for five decades or longer.

2018 - Name Change

We updated our name to "Adult & Teen Challenge" to better reflect the populations we serve.

July 2018 - 60th Anniversary Celebration

We celebrated 60 years at our national conference in Washington DC. Speakers included Peter Greer, Jim Cymbala, Malcolm Burleigh, Don Wilkerson, and many more.

December 2018 - New Curriculum Track Launched

For the first time in 40 years, the National Office launched a brand new curriculum track titled "Intimacy with Purpose." The series lays out a roadmap to healthy sexual and relational intimacy.

Program accomplishments

Our programs have a 78% success rate for those who complete!