A Look Inside: Adult & Teen Challenge

Adult & Teen Challenge National Office in Ozark, Missouri

Adult & Teen Challenge, USA runs over 200 drug and alcohol recovery programs that use a religious curriculum. ATC is heavily affiliated with The Assemblies of God.

Adult & Teen Challenge, USA is headquartered at 5250 N. Towne Centre Drive in Ozark, Missouri. The Nonprofit corporation was formed in 1984 and is in good standing. Until February of 2017, Adult & Teen Challenge, USA was known as Teen Challenge International, Inc. This change was registered in 2019 and ATC welcomed its new President, Gary Blackard.

There are over 200 Adult & Teen Challenge USA residential programs throughout the United States. Not all of these centers are directly owned by Adult & Teen Challenge, USA, as independent nonprofits can apply to be affiliates of Adult & Teen Challenge.

ATC Affiliate Standards

Affiliates of ATC are authorized to use the name “Adult & Teen Challenge” as well as the logo, and agree to maintain a website, represent ATC, act as a conduit, when necessary, to the General Council of the Assemblies of God, and more. Affiliates also verify compliance with the ATC Accreditation Standards.

The ATC Accreditation Standards revolve around 6 Core Standards: Identity, Governance, Measurements & Outcomes, Resource Management, Residential Operations, and Specialized Services.

All ATC Affiliated programs must, by Accreditation Standards, “demonstrate the Christ-centered foundation of the Adult & Teen Challenge culture and a continued focus on the operation of the Holy Spirit in all aspects of the organization. Adult & Teen Challenge ensures that biblical principles are applied in the social, intellectual, spiritual, physical and vocational aspects for the formation of student life within the discipleship program.”

There are some “indicators” of an Affiliate’s fulfillment of the Identity requirement of the program. One indicator is that members of the Affiliate’s Board of Directors are comprised of spiritually mature Christians, in harmony with the ATCHQ. Another is that the CEO and/or the Executive Director of the Affiliate is a spiritually mature Christian, amiable to the Assemblies of God doctrine. It is recommended that the executive director be an Assemblies of God ordained minister.

To abide by the Governance standards, at least according to the 2020 Accreditation Standards, the Affiliate’s Board of Directors must be comprised of at least one Assemblies of God Layperson.

According to Standard 3, Measurement & Improvement, ATC regularly collects and analyzes data to guide continual improvement of student outcomes, organizational efficiency, and program quality. Affiliates should demonstrate the ability to use the data to adapt its programs and services.

According to the ATC Standards, Corporal discipline is prohibited. Discipline of a student can not benefit a staff member personally, or the staff member’s family, friends or any graduate student of volunteer personally. Discipline shall be reasonable, related to, and redemptive in nature to the offense committed. Any disciplinary action is recorded in the student’s file.

Staff at ATC affiliates keep student medication in a locked area and staff must be present to witness a student taking their medication. A written record should be kept that includes the date, time, dosage, and signatures of both the staff witnessing and student taking the medication. Medication labels shall not be altered, nor should the instructions, dosage, or schedule be altered without written and verified permission from the prescribing physician.

No student at an ATC affiliate should be forced or coerce to fast and go without food.

Missouri Locations

There are 8 ATC or ATC Affiliate locations in the state of Missouri.

Kansas City Girls Academy

5506 Cambridge Avenue

Kansas City, MO 64129


“This is a therapeutic boarding school for adopted or self-destructing teenage girls, ages 12-17. We help troubled girls get back on track spiritually, behaviorally and academically.”

Business & Financials

Kansas City Girls Academy is registered under the name Teen Challenge Kansas City Girls’ Home. This Fictitious Name is registered with the State of Missouri and is owned by Teen Challenge of Florida, Inc. Teen Challenge of Florida, Inc shares an address with Kansas City Girls Academy.

The President of Teen Challenge of Florida, Inc is Brice Maddock of Columbus, Georgia. Maddock has been an ordained minister for twenty-four years and holds a M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Evangel University.

The Board of Directors of Teen Challenge of Florida, Inc includes Stephen Butler of Columbus, Georgia, Lee Lee James of Columbus, Jill Kahli of Columbus, Phil Edwards of Columbus, Jay Ault of Columbus, and William B Turner III of Columbus.

Primrose Hill Adult & Teen Challenge

1212 County Rd 2696

Clark, MO 65243


From the Primrose Hill website:

“Primrose Hill Adult & Teen Challenge’s vision is for Women and Children to develop a sound and stable life; Spiritually, Emotionally, Physically and Financially.”

“Primrose Hill is a beautiful 5700 sq. ft. home nestled on 43 acres in north central Missouri. This is the perfect place for women to be valued, loved and encouraged to discover God’s plan for their lives.”

Business & Financials

Primrose Hill Adult & Teen Challenge is owned by Teen Challenge International, Neosho, MO, a nonprofit registered in Neosho, Missouri.

The President of Teen Challenge International, Neosho is Mark Bridges of Neosho, Missouri. Mark Bridges served as Sheriff of Newton County, Missouri from 1985 to 1989 and Coroner of Newton County from 1996 until 2017.

Adult & Teen Challenge of the Four States

18527 E Hwy 86

Neosho, MO 64850


From the Adult & Teen Challenge of the Four States Website:

“Adult and Teen Challenge Neosho, MO. is a long-term, faith based, residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.  But we are more than that.  We do not focus on the impact drugs makes in one’s life; they already know that too well.  What we do is bring them to the One who created them, and then we help build them up from that foundation.”

“Adult & Teen Challenge of the Four States is set in the scenic Ozark region of southwest Missouri on the outskirts of Neosho, MO. Our campus encompasses 13 acres with a residential home for 24 men. “

Business & Financials

Adult and Teen Challenge of the Four States is owned by Teen Challenge International, Neosho, MO, a nonprofit registered in Neosho, Missouri.

The President of Teen Challenge International, Neosho is Mark Bridges of Neosho, Missouri. Mark Bridges served as Sheriff of Newton County, Missouri from 1985 to 1989 and Coroner of Newton County from 1996 until 2017.

Ozarks Teen Challenge

512 Purist Lane

Branson West, MO 65737


From the Ozarks Teen Challenge Website:

“Ozarks Teen Challenge is a 15-month Christian drug and behavioral rehabilitation center that recognizes the unique needs of each teen. Every aspect of our troubled teen program: the structure of his day, individualized academic & discipleship tracts, recreational therapy, leadership training, & life skills projects are developed with intentionality, focusing upon your son’s personal growth and development.”

Business & Financials

Rev. Michael Buttacy is the Executive Director of Ozarks Teen Challenge. He is also an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. Buttacy received his Bachelor’s Degree from Evangel University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Michael Buttacy is also a Missouri Recover Support Specialist, which means that he has completed 24 hours of training provided by the Missouri Credentialing Board.

Adult & Teen Challenge of the Greater South

PO Box 1688

Ozark, MO 65721


From the Adult & Teen Challenge of the Greater South Website:

“Adult & Teen Challenge of the Greater South (ATCGS) is a faith-based, minimum 9-month residential center offered free of monthly tuition for adult men & women struggling with life-controlling issues including abuse, addiction, depression, and eating disorders. Operating six homes and three crisis centers in Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee, residents balance their time between the study of God’s word, learning life skills and job training. ATCGS is a part of the world-wide Adult & Teen Challenge® family with over 200 U.S. based centers and 1200 international centers. Studies have shown an 86% success rate among Adult & Teen Challenge graduates.”

Adult & Teen Challenge of the Greater South Student Manual Highlights

Bold text is highlighted by us.

No visits or telephone calls are permitted during the first two weeks. For the first two weeks, new students are not allowed to talk to or sit with other new students who have been here less than two weeks.

No one should be lying down during the day without staff approval. You may not lie down during free time or at any time between 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. unless you are ill.

Students having to go off campus an excessive number of times (15) for personal reasons may have time added to the program. This includes going to the doctor, dentist, probation officers, etc

No secular reading material of any kind are allowed unless the director gives special permission. Only approved Christian reading material is allowed.

Students are not allowed to have money of any kind at Teen Challenge; however, we do allow students to have a Walmart card

A shower must be taken every day. Showers are to be limited to 10 minutes or less, a maximum of 15 minutes in the bathroom per student. You are allowed only one shower a day unless approved otherwise. Any personal items left in the bathroom may be thrown away

Also in regard to showers:

Men are required to shower daily. Shower time is from 4:30 P.M. until lights out, and is not to exceed 5 minutes in length. ABSOLUTELY NO SHOWERS AFTER FIRST ROLL CALL OF THE DAY

Men are not permitted to shave their legs or arms at any time while at Adult & Teen Challenge of the Greater South.

The student is required to do regular work duties. You should accept your assignment as an adult. Complaints will not be condoned. Job duties for each student will be announced and posted each week (if you do not have a job you must notify the staff on duty). If you complete a task early you are responsible to find a staff on duty and request further assignment. If duties are not completed properly, consequence will be given out. You are not to be in your rooms during work time

The Program Director or his/her designee must approve all medication. Do not purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medicines unless you have obtained staff permission first. The staff will dispense the OTC medication and prescription medicines. Medicine of any kind, including aspirin, cough syrup, etc. may not be kept in your room. Violations of this rule may result in discipline and possible expulsion from the program

I understand that if I receive a monthly income from any source that 70% will go to Adult & Teen Challenge of the Greater South (whether or not check comes to Adult & Teen Challenge of the Greater South)

Business & Financials

Adult & Teen Challenge of the Greater South files with the IRS as Teen Challenge Women’s Ministry, Inc out of Russellville, Arkansas.

According to the Missouri Secretary of State, Teen Challenge Women’s Ministries failed to file a Registration Report and was administratively dissolved on January 3rd, 2017.

Hope Homes of the Ozarks

1477 N Broadway

Springfield, MO 65802


From the Hope Homes of the Ozarks website:

“The mission of Hope homes of the Ozarks Adult and Teen Challenge is to minister hope and healing to those struggling with addiction and other life controlling issues. We offer a community-based, family environment where participants engage in multiple classes, group counseling, one-on-one mentoring and work therapy while finding freedom from addiction and achieving the skills they need to become productive members of society.”

Business & Financials

Hope Homes of the Ozarks is owned by City Reach Church, Springfield, MO, Inc. The President of City Reach Church is John Alarid. John Alarid is also the founder and lead pastor of Freedom City Church and Straight Street Sober Living Homes. John has a masters degree from Evangel University.

In regards to students’ ability to pay for the Hope Homes of the Ozarks program, which costs $18,000 per residents for 9 months:

In general, states provide an assistance program for individuals enrolled in a state or private drug/alcohol recovery program. Your director will identify these specifics in your area. This assistance may consist of cash, food stamps and medical insurance. An individual can receive assistance based upon state qualification criteria. Your enrollment in the Hope Home may qualify you for this assistance. If qualified, you agree to transfer custody of your Assistance Card to the Hope Home staff and agree that it can be utilized to support needs of the Hope Home.

Adult & Teen Challenge Mid America

303 MATC Lane

Cape Girardeau, MO 63701


From the Adult & Teen Challenge Mid-America website:

“Our Program Adult and Teen Challenge Mid-America (ATCMA) in Cape Girardeau, MO is a long-term, residential, faith-based program that ministers to men with drug, alcohol and other addictions, as well as life controlling issues. We are part of a worldwide network of ministries which include about 200 centers around the world. We minister to men ages 17 and above, many being in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and above and from all ways of life because addiction knows no age boundaries, education or social class. We typically have between 130-140 students or more who are with us for 10 months at a time, completing upwards of 330 men per year.”

Adult & Teen Challenge Mid America Handbook Highlights

At the scheduled time, students should shower daily and spend no more than a total of ten (10) minutes in the bathroom: four (4) minute in the shower and six (6) minutes getting dressed.

Adult & Teen Challenge Mid America lists many unacceptable medications that cannot be taken while in the program including medications to treat Depression, Seizures, Epilepsy, Anxiety, and ADHD.

Business & Financials

Adult & Teen Challenge Mid America is owned by Mid-America Teen Challenge Training Center, Inc which was formed in 1968.

We are currently unable to find IRS Form 990 Filings for either Adult & Teen Challenge Mid America or Mid-America Teen Challenge Training Center.

Adult & Teen Challenge of St. Louis

2650 Appletree Acres

High Ridge, MO 63049


From the Adult & Teen Challenge of St. Louis website:

“Adult & Teen Challenge of St. Louis is dedicated to a transformative 12 month residential program based on Christian principles to help restore broken lives of men and women overcome by addictions.”

Business & Financials

Adult & Teen Challenge of St. Louis publishes its IRS Form 990s on their website, in a much appreciated show of transparency. According to their website, residents only pay a one-time fee of $500 thanks to contributions from individuals, churches, organizations, and the business community.

Students must also provide one-way bus fare from St. Louis to the student’s home which is kept in the office and is refundable. Students must also be willing to pay for transportation to and from the center at the rate of fifty cents per mile if ATCSTL provides transportation.

Students receiving Social Security Disability benefits may be required to contribute half of their income to ATCSTL to provide for program expenses.

All student money will be given to the admitting staff member upon arrival.

A thorough shower is required each day, but showers should not exceed 10 minutes.

Women may not use tampons, only pads.

Additional Resources

Online Sources
Adult and Teen Challenge Outcome Study Report – October 2019 – Donna Washburn, PhD | Heather Kelly, PhD | Christine Arnzen PhD | Emma Hal
Adult & Teen Challenge Accreditation Standards 2020
Teen Challenge USA Financials
Media Sources
Ozarks Teen Challenge to begin campus expansion – Springfield Business Journal

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