The Sherman Church will again host the New Haven chapter of Adult &
Teen Challenge in a concert Sunday, July 17, at 4:30pm at the pavilion at the
Sherman Town Beach.
The story of this worldwide organization began with David Wilkerson, a
young pastor from Pennsylvania, who heard God say, “Go to New York City and
help those boys.” He started the ministry of Teen Challenge in 1958 after the
dramatic conversion and transformation of a notorious Brooklyn gang leader,
Nicky Cruz. Rev. Wilkerson described his ministry in his 1963 book The Cross and
the Switchblade, his work full time among gang members, and the beginnings of
the Teen Challenge organization seeking to help those bound by addiction.
Adult & Teen Challenge has more than 200 centers in the United States and
more than 1400 in 125 countries around the world. In 1996, the men’s campus
was opened in New Haven, and it eventually merged with centers in
Massachusetts and Providence into one unified organization, Teen Challenge New
England, Inc. in 1999.
The members of the New Haven chapter will sing and give testimony at the
July performance as they did last year. The men will sing, cite scripture
references, and tell their individual stories of addiction and lifesaving change
through Jesus Christ. Last year, they told how their addiction led to paranoia,
hearing voices, and even being thrown in jail. One man went to detox 12 times.
Another overdosed three times. It was only talking to God and then listening to
what He had to say that led them to Adult & Teen Challenge and lifted them to “a
life beyond my wildest dreams,” as one man put it.
It costs $2300 to provide a resident of Adult & Teen Challenge in New
Haven room, board and counseling. They accept no government funding so they
can keep their faith-based principles. They learn life skills and pray together daily.
The church will present its Mission Moment July 24 on Adult & Teen
Challenge, and a collection will be taken up during the 10am service.
Anyone may donate by check made out to The Sherman Church with Adult & Teen Challenge in
the memo line or online here at the church website “Tithe’s and Offerings” tab – make a note that it is for
Adult & Teen Challenge in the Comments line.