By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer
Once a promising basketball player at a Division I college, Scott Reynolds seemed to have a bright future.
But an addiction to drugs and alcohol landed him in a Japanese prison when he was caught smuggling drugs, he said.
“I was at the end of my rope,” Reynolds said.
With no place else to turn, Reynolds enrolled in a residential, nonprofit, faith-based organization called Teen Challenge. He said the experience turned his life around.
“I’ve been clean for 17 years,” he said.
The 48-year-old now serves as the director of Teen Challenge of the Permian Basin. The Midland, Texas-based facility is for men 17 years of age or older who need assistance with life-controlling problems.
“Most come to us as volunteers but some are court ordered,” Reynolds said. “But they all have life-controlling problems such as child abuse or drugs.”
The purpose of the center is to evangelize people who have problems and initiate the Christian discipleship training to the point where the individual can function as a Christian in society.
Since the center receives no government funding, Reynolds said money is raised by traveling to area churches and putting on a program that includes personal testimony from enrollees and singing by the Teen Challenge choir.
The center also garners funds by selling handcrafted crosses.
“We have a tradition in Midland (Texas) of making the crosses,” he said. “They are made of wood, nails and glass, and are just beautiful.”
The Teen Challenge group plans to visit First Christian Church of Clovis Sunday morning. The family program will include performances by the Teen Challenge choir, testimonies from former Clovis residents who are in the program and a challenge from Reynolds.
First Christian Church Pastor Jon Forrest said he feels the community and his congregation will benefit from exposure to the Teen Challenge message.
“This is a worthy group,” Forrest said, “and these people have a strong desire to change.”
Forrest said there are two driving factors behind hosting Teen Challenge at his church.
“Hopefully people will want to help the Teen Challenge organization,” he said, “or those in need will get help.”