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

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 – 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.