In 1958, Rev. David Wilkerson, the pastor of a small church in rural Philipsburg, PA traveled to New York City to intercede in a court case for six gang members. Along with a mix of drug related changes, the teenagers were on trial for murder of a 15 year-old boy. Rev. Wilkerson’s journey to New York and his faith-inspired intervention seemed to end in failure as he was tossed out of the court room and not permitted to see the young men.
As the months passed, Rev. Wilkerson’s expulsion from the court room laid the unique ground work for what happened next. Believing the police were against both the gang members and Rev. Wilkerson, the gangs came to see him as an ally not an enemy. This turn of events created an opportunity for him to share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and see men and women experienced something life altering. Momentary change however, is not always enough for permanent life change. It was not enough for someone just to “find God,” they need to grow in that new found relationship with God. That is where permanent life change was going to be found, in a relationship with God. Out of this series of events, Teen Challenge was birthed into a ministry that reaches out to gangs and individuals trapped in an addictive lifestyle.
History of Teen Challenge Sandhills, NC
Sal DiBianca and his wife Debby founded the Sandhills Teen Challenge Ministry and have been serving as the directors, helping youth, adults and families for over 28 years. Since pioneering the men’s residential recovery program in 1987, it has enrolled thousands of men desperately needing hope and healing to overcome drug and alcohol addiction. Sandhills Teen Challenge is a residential faith based recovery program for men ages 18+ with a drug or alcohol problem.
An ideal place for recovery, Sandhills Teen Challenge is located on 31 tranquil acres in the heart of Moore County, and is Phase I of a 14 month (minimum) residential program. Phase II consists of a 10 month stay at the Training Center located in Rehrersburg, PA. Sandhills Teen Challenge provides food, clothing, a warm bed, academic materials, etc., which are necessary to insure the student receives the spiritual, emotional, vocational, and academic training required to help him overcome the problems which led to his addiction.