Name: Matthew “Bryan” Sampson
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Teen Challenge Center: Orlando Men’s Center & Training Coordinator SE Region; Graduated September, 2014
Brief Testimony: After 18 years of addiction I finally lost everything and had reached a point of desperation. Going to Teen Challenge I had little hope, but God…God used Teen Challenge to build me up into the man of God I was always meant to be. I now work as the Training Coordinator for the SE Region and am working towards my second Master’s degree in Mental Health. My desire is to raise up leaders within the region to be healing agents and leaders of Christ.
What do you enjoy most about your role? – The most enjoyable aspect of my job is to see people encounter the love of Christ. Once I begin to see this change I love engaging, encouraging, and helping them grow and develop into their new identity and watch Christ manifest in their lives.
Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable? – In order to make the greatest impact for the Kingdom of God, we must be investing in the next generation to lead people in the will of God. Leadership and training are essential in becoming more like Christ and walking out a life that glorifies Him.
Name: Trista Kincaid
Hometown: Dublin, GA
Teen Challenge Center: Dublin Men’s Center
Brief Testimony: I was saved at a young age and was fortunate to grow up in a (not perfect, but) Christian home. After college and working for many years in children’s ministry, I was honored to serve as a Missionary in Brussels, Belgium. Upon returning to the USA I met my husband, David Kincaid, who was serving at Teen Challenge in Fort Myers, FL. I say that I “married into the ministry of Teen Challenge”. We are now blessed to serve as the directors at the Dublin GA Men’s Center.
What do you enjoy most about your role? I serve in several capacities at our men’s center (finance, events & ELP training facilitator). I love getting to work with our Emerging Leaders because this group represents the future of our ministry. There is an energy and excitement amongst these new leaders which makes me want to be a better leader!
Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable? Years ago, while working in Illinois, I had a pastor and his wife invest in my life a great deal. I know the influence they had in my life that shaped me into who I am today. I want to be that for others!
Name: Michael Spivey
Age: 38 years old
Hometown: Macclenny, FL
Teen Challenge Center: Jacksonville Men’s Center, graduated 2013
Brief Testimony: I was on drugs for 18 years, and completely selfish for the 15 years before. I came to Jacksonville Men’s Center, 5 years ago and have seen God change almost everything about my life. God is using me to end generations of addiction, dysfunction and abuse in my own family and allowing me to see lives transformed all the time in Teen Challenge.
What do you enjoy most about your role? – I get the privilege of being a genuine example, in progress, of what God can do in a life. I get to be part of the solution and undo the damage to creation that I once took pride in causing.
Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable? – Being teachable is super important and there has to be people to lead us in the right way. We all learn best by seeing the truth walked out in front of our eyes.
Name: Barbara Cooper
Hometown: Woodbridge, VA
Teen Challenge Center: Davie Women’s Center
Brief Testimony: I was working in the bar business and realized at 26 I was heading for trouble. I was blacking out every time I drank. Someone told me I would like this church, so I went and I did and was born again. A friend of mine started working at TC and I went to visit her and the Director offered me a job, so I went through the program as a staff, so to say. God dealt with me about the same things He was dealing with the students about.
What do you enjoy most about your role? I love seeing the captives get set free and watching God do it anyway He wants-can’t put God in a box that’s for sure!
Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable? When I started, it was on the job training by the Holy Spirit-I never cried so much in my life! God was merciful and used me in spite of me still being crippled in many ways. I feel that Teen Challenge training is putting out a much better quality of staff and they are healthier physically, mentally, emotionally, and better prepared spiritually for the battle. Those that stick with it turn out to be “quality”.
Name: John Arnold
Hometown: Manitou, KY
Teen Challenge Center: Graduated from Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge in 2015. Currently on staff at Teen Challenge Men’s Center, Dixon, KY.
Testimony: I had a great upbringing as a child in a supportive loving home but early in my teenage years chose to consume myself with the things of this world. I entered Teen Challenge in September of 2014 broken, depressed, desperate and addicted. During my 12 months at Teen Challenge, I encountered God and He revealed Himself to me like never before. It is 100% His credit for the changes He has helped me make in my life and continue to make daily. I am extremely grateful that He restored me and am excited for the future He has for me.
Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
What do you enjoy most about your role? I enjoy being able to firsthand witness God impacting others’ lives the same way He impacted mine. It’s humbling to be in a position to help lead others to new levels of leadership and discipleship.
What do you feel that leadership and training are valuable? Leadership training is essential for the Kingdom to expand! We all have to teach and learn from one another to more effectively carry out our purpose for Him.
Name: Samantha White
Hometown: Bristol, CT
Teen Challenge Center: Jacksonville Teen Challenge Women’s Center
Brief Testimony: I’ve been walking with the Lord since I was a young girl, and I don’t regret it for a moment. He’s currently showing me that He is after each and every crevice of my heart, no matter how small, He wants it all. I’ve been with this ministry for close to 5 years now and I love being able to represent His love and grace in the lives of others, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do so.
What do you enjoy most about your role? Seeing the ladies challenged to grow and seeing them walk out what God has illuminated to them.
Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable? Without training, without growth, we would stay in a stagnant place and that’s not what God is calling us to. Leadership, true biblical leadership, leaves a lasting positive impact on others and that’s what I want my ELP students to walk away with.