The History of Teen Challenge International
In 1958, a young pastor from Pennsylvania named David Wilkerson traveled to New York City to seek out the young people involved in the gang wars he had been reading about in magazines and newspapers. After finding them he miraculously established a rapport that revealed that the gang members had a wide range of problems ranging from homosexuality and prostitution to hard core drug addiction. This relationship between the “street veterans” and the young preacher led to the formation of the first Teen Challenge at 416 Clinton Street in Brooklyn, which is described in detail in his book, The Cross and the Switchblade.
Since 1958, Teen Challenge International USA centers have been recognized nationally as a provider of recovery services for those who desire to transform their lifestyle and develop a new life free from the devastation of drug and alcohol abuse.
Since its beginning, Teen Challenge centers have founded their programs on the teachings of Jesus Christ. These Biblical truths have physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually unchained the lives of thousands of addicts. Instead of ‘dope’ pushers, Teen Challenge ministries are serving as ‘hope’ pushers. As their personal testimony, Teen Challenge students often claim the scripture, “I have plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
The History of Hannah’s Haven
The idea for Hannah’s Haven was born out of the heart and spirit of Ms. Bonnie Harris. Bonnie knows firsthand the devastating effects of drug abuse, as well as the life-transforming power of Christ. After being set free by the Lord, Bonnie began to experience not only recovery, but rebirth, which has resulted in true freedom. For more than a decade, a passion has been growing in Bonnie for proclaiming the Good News of Christ to others who find themselves in spiritual, emotional, and physical bondage.
In March 2003, Bonnie began pursuing a dream God gave her several years ago to open a Christ-centered home for women desiring recovery from addiction. She approached a friend, Denine Carter, to partner with her in this endeavor. Soon, Hannah’s Haven was born. The Lord had previously given Bonnie the name “Hannah” in her dream. She later learned that Hannah was the barren woman in the Bible who cried out to the Lord in great distress. The Lord “remembered her” (1 Samuel 1:19), and she gave birth to a child. “Haven” represents a safe, stable and peaceful place for women to come and experience the love of Christ and His people.
In July 2003, the Secretary of State of North Carolina approved Hannah’s Haven application for incorporation. In September 2004, the organization received tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, making Hannah’s Haven an official nonprofit entity. In November 2004, the Board of Directors convened for the first time.
Hannah’s Haven Dedication
On Sunday, March 26, 2006, founder Bonnie Harris and the Board of Directors of Hannah’s Haven held a dedication ceremony, to dedicate Hannah’s Haven back to God.