Do You Know About Teen Challenge?

In 1968 Teen Challenge of Southern California was in its 5th years.  Tom was in his 22nd year.  He was 6’1″ but weighed just 135 pounds.  Drugs were killing him.  When he got arrested again, his probation officer offered two choices: prison or Teen Challenge.  “I didn’t want to go to prison, and they said if I stayed in Teen Challenge a minimum of four months the charges would be dismissed,” Tom recalled.  “I looked like walking death, but I couldn’t stop using. I had maybe six months to live, so I went to Teen Challenge thinking I’d stay four months.”  He had no idea that God had other plans.

The first week Tom was at Teen Challenge he accepted Jesus as his Savior. The next week he had an encounter with the Holy Spirit.  “I knew what the truth was. I knew when the four months were up that I wasn’t ready to go back to the streets.”  Tom didn’t leave Teen Challenge for eleven years. After graduating , he joined the staff and eventually became Director of Teen Challenge in Kern County…the first Southern California graduate to be appointed a Center Director.

“God absolutely set me free. Teen Challenge is where my life in Jesus began.” And that life has seen Tom travel to more than 60 countries to share his story. He planted churches and established mission projects in foreign countries. Tom currently serves as the Lead Pastor of a multi-campus church in the Central Valley, has written several books and was involved in radio ministry for 25 years.

Now over 70, Tom has no plans for retirement. “I’ve lived a rich life, and it all started at Teen Challenge.  Little did I know that God would allow me to do what I’ve seen and done.”

For 55 years, Teen Challenge  has been involved in local communities, reaching out to men and women like Tom who desperately need help.

  •  Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,  Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.    Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Watch the video with Tom’s amazing story of life transformation at:
  • Learn more about Teen Challenge:
  • SONG: THESE INWARD TRIALSWords by John Newton, 1779; music by Kathleen


[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:  and

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About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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3 Responses to Do You Know About Teen Challenge?

  1. Frank King says:

    That is an awesome testimony of God’s saving grace. Teen Challenge seems similar to a Center we have here in Savannah, GA. It is one of 23 centers around the country that fall under the umbrella of Mission Teens, Inc. I have been volunteering to minister at the Savannah Center for 23 years ministering to the residents in the program. I am the only minister who started coming to the local center when it opened in Savannah in 1994 and who still ministers there. It blesses me to see how God works in the lives of those who come desperate for Him.

    • Kathleen says:

      How wonderful that you have chosen to minister to these teens. I’m sure a huge blessing to you and an even more powerful blessing to those needy teens. Thank you for reaching out to them.

  2. Kristi Ann says:

    Amen-Amein Sister in Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua Kathleen!!

    Amen-Amein ❤ ❤ GOD BLESS YOU!! ❤ ❤


    Praise Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua – Hallelujah and Maranatha!!

    GOD BLESS ALL my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and my Messianic Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua and my Devout Jewish Sisters and Brothers and Your Families and Friends!!

    I am Pro-Israel-Yisrael / Pro-Christian and Jewish People who STAND with the Holy Land of Israel-Yisrael and our Judeo-Christian Nation United States of America / Pro-Zionism / PRO-LIFE!!

    Please Pray for Israel-Yisrael / Christian Nation United States of America, and our Christian Earth Everyday “Pray Without Ceasing.” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV )!!

    ( Psalms 33:12 KJV ) “Blessed is the Nation whose GOD is the LORD; and the People whom HE hath Chosen for HIS Own Inheritance.”!!

    Our ONE True GOD’S LOVE 💕💜 is ETERNAL THROUGH HIS SON Christ-MESSIAH Jesus-Yeshua for Today and Everyday Forevermore!!

    I Love you all Everyone through Christ-MESSIAH Jesus-Yeshua, because HE LOVED 💜💕 EVERYONE FIRST!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

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