50 years ago a young preacher by the name of David Wilkerson read an article in a Life times magazine about 7 boys who were involved in a murder trial. Upon looking at this article, he saw the pain in the eyes of one of the boys and began to weep. As he wept the Holy Spirit spoke to him and said "Go to New York City and help those boys".
David Wilkerson obeyed the voice of the Lord and went to the ghettos of New York City. On the first day, two youths tried to mug him, then all of a sudden they stopped and said to him, "Hey man, you are that mad preacher from the Michael Farmer trial". David Wilkerson replied "Yes thats right". Then the two youths who tried to mug him said well at least we have something in common, "The cops don't like us and they don't like you".
David Wilkerson found gangs that were vicious in fighting would take drugs and alcohol to feel happy, they made their gang their family for a sense of belonging. David Wilkerson was now going into the strongholds of Satan with the one weapon that would cripple all that these gangs stood for - The gospel of Jesus Christ.
As he preached the Gospel and told the gangs that Jesus loved them - they began to listen to him and when David Wilkerson head a crusade at Sy Nicolas Arena, one of the most notorious gang members from the Mau Maus Gang got saved. His name was Nicky Cruz.
It was after this event that Teen Challenge got its name, and David Wilkerson worked alongside new volunteers on the streets of Brooklyn reaching gang members, drug addicts and alcoholics with the life changing Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Praise God it never stopped in Brooklyn. For as the success in Brooklyn began, so God began to raise Teen Challenge ministries up across the whole of America, into Canada and then across the Atlantic over into Europe.
Today Teen Challenge is a non-profit, interdenominational, faith-based programme operating in over 82 countries, with over 510 autonomous locations international, and continues to grow at a dramatic pace worldwide.