ELP Highlight

Name: Jason Prater

Age:  28 years old

Hometown: Durham, N.C

Teen Challenge Center:   Jacksonville Men’s Center

My Testimony in Brief: As a young man from a broken home I felt unloved and had no Jason Prateridentity.  I began looking for help in drugs, alcohol, violence, and gangs.  From high school until last year I was in and out of jail.  In 2012 while on crack I racked up 27 new charges.  In jail I was so lost and broken I received Jesus through the help of a former hell’s angel.  I was eventually released and after several failures I ended up here in Jacksonville.

The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me: God has used Teen Challenge to restore my relationship with Jesus and my family.  He is showing me how to be a light that guides all nations to Him(Is 42:6) as well as help people who are still in bondage.

 The ELP’s Impact on My Leadership: The ELP program has taught me about balance, boundaries, how to study God’s Word and hear His voice.

ELP Highlight – July 2016

Name: Matthew RossignolMatt Rossignol

Age: 25 years old

Hometown: Northhampton, Maine

Teen Challenge Center: Jacksonville Men’s Center

My Testimony in Brief: I was raised in a traditional home where I learned good morals and work ethic.  I spent my whole life trying to fit in and belong, looking for significance in all the wrong places. At 21 I was divorced, became even more depressed, and became addicted to cold medicine, which led to 4 baker acts, over 8 antidepressant prescriptions.  During this my brother passed away suddenly from organ failure, which drove me to God.  After a few more failures I came to Teen Challenge and figured out my problem wasn’t drugs, but rather a lack of God.

Purpose and Calling: I have been here 8 months and the ELP program is God’s tool to strengthen and develop my character, and to make me ready for His calling of serving others who are bound with sin.  This ministry, ELP and God has turned out to be more that I imagined.

 

ELP Highlight

Name: Barry PendergrassBarrry Pendergrass

Age:   45 years old

Hometown: Montclair, NJ and Atlanta, GA

Teen Challenge Center:   I graduated the Jacksonville Men’s Center on March 27, 2016 which was Easter Sunday and I am currently serving as an intern.  

My Testimony in Brief: After struggling with addiction to painkillers, crack & heroin for 25 years, I found myself hitting rock bottom. I lost everything & everyone that ever meant anything to me, my wife, two beautiful children, home and career, not to mention my sanity. Today I have hope because the ministry of Teen Challenge has offered me a fresh start at life.

The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me:  I have a purpose and through the Emerging Leaders Program, God has revealed his calling to me. I believe that God has placed a special anointing on my life to help break the cycle of addiction in the lives of others by seeing the radical life transformation that I have experienced. I also want to thank you for all you do and keeping the ELP vision alive and strong.

ELP Highlight

Name: Kevin Noviello

Age: 24 Years Old

Home Town: Columbus, GA

Teen Challenge Center: I graduated Jacksonville Men’s Center June of 2015.

My Testimony in Brief: I had eternity at my finger tips and decided to turn back from a road of promises. Raised in church, I was always taught right from wrong and good morals, but I wanted to pursue a life where I was in control. With a wild imagination and a independent outlook on life I found myself fully addicted to any substance that would further my experience of ” being in control.” I came to Teen Challenge with almost the mentality to prove that God could not do something with a hopeless and drug addicted felon.

The Purpose and Calling God has given me: God has called me to help build up a generation of Earth shakers for the kingdom of God.

The ELP’s Impact on my Leadership: ELP program sharpens leadership qualities while cultivating new skill-sets of leadership The ELP program is the single most effective program training leaders according to the model Jesus set.

ELP Highlight – Mar 2016

My nSteven Newmaname is Steven Newman. I was born in Augusta, GA.  I grew up in a wonderful and loving family. My parents were always there for me and still are to this day. My mother has always been a very godly woman, so I was raised up in Christian schools. High school is where it all started. I got with the wrong group of guys and stole a car, went to the mall, and robbed a woman. We got caught and I received probation. I continued with my madness and started selling drugs. I got caught and got out again with probation. My mother and father would always hire me the best lawyers and getting me out of trouble. So, eventually I didn’t worry about getting caught. I continued selling and was successful. Everything Satan wants us to have is to blind us from GOD. Houses, Boats, Cars, Motorcycles, anything you want.

Well I got caught again, and had the best lawyer so I knew with enough money I would get out. But this time, I remember my lawyer telling me “Steven I can no longer take your case the feds want you. I cannot win.” I knew then I was going to prison. Plus the feds wanted me to give information to them, which I could not do. My boss knew where my mother, brother, and whole family lived. Yes, I feared him! So I wouldn’t cooperate. I was sent to Prison 5 different federal penitentiaries.

From 1999 to 2012 I was in and out of Federal Prison system. When I got out I met a wonderful Christian woman. I had a great job everything was great. However,  I fell Into Satan’s hands again. A certain woman moved next door and eventually I started going over to her house and using meth, heroine and partying again. I never would have thought I would become a junkie. The same person I sold to—I had become. My girlfriend left me after the other woman told her everything when she was intoxicated one night. I lost everything and was living out of my truck, begging my mother for money, and taking showers at the truck stop. On top of that, I was facing multiple new charges.

My brother and mom came and got me out of jail and I came home. I realized I needed help when my daughter told me “Baylin (my son) has a step dad who sits on the couch all day and a dad who he watched grow up in prison to look up to.” The very next day I searched for rehabs and came across Teen Challenge. They took me immediately. I made a commitment to myself and my family that no matter what I would be straight for a year. Satan has yet to steal my victory. God has restored my relationship with my beautiful twins and my family!

Now, I’m the one chosen to do the prayers at special occasions. I also serve food to the homeless, and talk to drug addicts every chance I get to share the hope of Jesus with them. Only God could make that change.  I graduated from Middle Georgia Teen Challenge in July 2015 and have recently finished my 6 month internship. I’m in the ELP program where I’m learning leadership roles. I have the responsibility of work project coordinator. I’m still currently here at Teen Challenge 20 months later because I honestly feel God’s calling to this ministry and to give back to the young adults to keep them from going down the path I went through.

ELP Highlight – Feb 2016

Name: Zac GarmonZach Garmon

Age: 28

Teen Challenge Center: Teen Challenge Middle Georgia

My testimony in brief: I first came to Teen Challenge Christmas Eve 2013 weighing 127 lbs and had been out of control for a long time. After being sober for about 30 days I figured I already knew God and now that my withdrawals were over I’d be ok—so I left. Just two days later I was in a coma from a heroin overdose and also had a minor stroke 11 days later. I got out of the hospital and never slowed down, and after 6 months and 3 more overdoses and thoughts of suicide, God brought me back to Teen Challenge.

Now I am up to 200 lbs, very happy and I have a boldness I’ve never had and also I’m able to give back to the ministry God used to bring me back to him.

The purpose and calling God has given me: My purpose and God’s calling has been to use my compassion and be an open ear for those who struggle the way I have, and to help wherever I am needed.

ELP’s impact on my leadership: ELP has helped my leadership by helping me realize who I am in God’s kingdom and how he wants to use me.

 

 

ELP Highlight – Jan 2016

Name: Michael T. Spivey20151220_202308-1

Age:   37 years old

Hometown: Born and raised in Macclenny, FL

Teen Challenge Center:   On staff with TC Jacksonville Men’s Center 2 years.

Which Center/What Year did you Graduate: I graduated Jacksonville Men’ Center August 2013 and was hired March 2014. I will complete ELP Level II in a few months.

My Testimony in Brief: I didn’t want for material things but had no real life skills due to my parents own addictions and bad life skills. I used alcohol and pot at age 15, cocaine at age 16, ecstasy and LSD at age 20, pills and crack from age 24 to 30 and pills and meth age 30 to 33. I was busted by DEA for manufacturing meth in 2012 and soon after entered Teen Challenge where God transformed my life.

The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me: My purpose and calling is to teach relationship skills based on the Word of God; having Agape love that goes where it isn’t deserved and doesn’t have expectations when it isn’t received. Destroying the work of the devil; namely division.

The ELP’s Impact on My Leadership:  ELP has given me the tools and desire to achieve this by learning about influence, selflessness and serving others. It has also brought out giftings and dreams that I didn’t know I had.

 

 

ELP Highlights – Dec 2015

Name: Michelle SheppardMichelle Shepphard

Age: 32
Hometown: Peoria, Arizona
Teen Challenge Center: Home of Hope, Casa Grande, AZ  Graduated : May 2013
My Testimony in Brief:
I grew up with a christian background, but never personally knew the Lord. When I reached my 20s- I made bad decisions and fell into alcohol addiction. At 29 years old- I finally found myself at rock bottom where I desperately wanted to change my life. I cried out to the Lord and he helped me! I was told about Teen Challenge and knew that was God’s will for me. I entered the program with restored hope and a new relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!
The Purpose and Calling God Has Given Me:
I am now Education Coordinator of the Pensacola Teen Challenge Women’s Center! God has given me his blessing to lead these women to an understanding of His Word that will ultimately set the foundation for their recovery!
The ELP’s Impact on My Leadership:
ELP has impacted me tremendously. Each one of the 8 books has helped shape my character into that of Christ. In particular- Servant Leadership and Armor Bearer. This curriculum continues to help grow, challenge and confirm the calling that the Lord has on my life!

ELP Highlight Nov 2015

Name: Matthew B. SampsonBryan Sampson

Age:  33

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Teen Challenge Center:  Central Florida Men’s.  I have been on staff for 6 months. I graduated in September 2014

My Testimony in Brief:   I let drugs and alcohol consume every aspect of my life. I let the ways of the world guide me on a path of destruction allowing me to feel no remorse for anyone. Jesus still loved me! He loved me so much that he died for it all, just so I could be reconciled to Him. Through His love I have been able to love others.

 The Purpose and Calling God has Given Me:  He has called me to bring people out of darkness, to be a testimony of his power and love. I will be working with Teen Challenge as I continue to grow and educate myself; becoming the best vessel for the Holy Spirit to operate through.

The ELP’s Impact on My Leadership:  The ELP program has brought what was once a timid, quiet voice and turned it into a lion! I’m now a leader who serves his fellow brothers and will do whatever he can to see them succeed, leading them to victory in Christ.

ELP Highlight

I am Kristi LaCoy and I work for Teen Challenge. I’m the Intake Coordinator @ “The Bridge” Teen Challenge for Women located in Franklin, LA. I have been a part of ELP for Kristi LaCoyabout a year and will graduate soon. ELP has taught me so much about working in ministry and as a team. When I started, I didn’t realize how important I was to what is involved in this work. This course has taught me answers to questions I didn’t even know I needed to ask and to serve the way Jesus did.