Our History

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 500 Teen Challenge Centers in the United States and internationally.

In 1985, God called Jim Nickels to serve as Executive Director and develop a Teen Challenge ministry in West Virginia. Appalachian Teen Challenge, Inc. was founded in 1982. 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 the Training Center. Since then the ministry has grown to provide help for adolescents and adults through sister centers.

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