Teen Challenge celebrating 50th in NYC

Thursday, June 26, 2008
Jack Smart director of Teen Challenge International of Cape Girardeau is attending the 50th anniversary of Teen Challenge at the ministry's point of origin, NYC.

Teen Challenge, the ministry that helps people fight drug addiction, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in New York City this week. Jack Smart, executive director of Teen Challenge International of Mid-America in Cape Girardeau, is attending the event, which ends Saturday, with his wife and three staff members. The Cape Girardeau center opened in 1970; Smart has been its director since 1990.

Smart said Monday that he was excited to attend because "it marks a tremendous milestone. It's great to be part of this historical time for Teen Challenge."

He and his wife left Cape Girardeau a little early to take in a few tourist attractions, including a Mets game, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

Teen Challenge International of Mid-America in Cape Girardeau was one of the 200 U.S. Teen Challenge centers celebrating the anniversary in New York City. Services are being held at Times Square Church with a final service at Brooklyn Tabernacle, where the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir will perform.

Smart said he met Teen Challenge founder David Wilkerson when he did a crusade in Cape Girardeau around 1981.

Special guests at the three-day, seven-service event include Wilkerson; his brother, Don Wilkerson, founder of Global Teen Challenge; Nicky Cruz of Nicky Cruz Outreach; Sonny Arguinzoni of Victory Outreach International and Steve Hill of Heartland World Ministries.

"I'm looking forward to hearing the testimony of early graduates Nicky Cruz and Sonny Arguinzoni, who really touched a lot of lives," Smart said.

Hill is a graduate of Teen Challenge International of Mid-America in Cape Girardeau.

Smart said, "The ministry here has been privileged to see thousands of men transformed by the power of the gospel. The anniversary celebration is a remarkable way to pay tribute to what God is continuing to do in and through Teen Challenge and in the lives of our graduates in the U.S. and around the world."

For more information about Teen Challenge, including testimonies, national contact information and the 50th anniversary events, visit www.TeenChallengeUSA.com.

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