Rick & Donna
Pastor Rick Fernandez, a graduate of Teen Challenge and an ordained minister, has been working with the ministry since 1987. Coming from the gangs and streets of New York and having contended with his own past demons of addiction, Rick is well prepared for the work God has called him to in helping addicts find freedom. You could say he attended the School of Hard Knocks and graduated with honors.
His heart for evangelism and his passion to reach out to and make a difference in the lives of those he serves is evident in his faithfulness to the ministry and in the father’s heart that he has for the hurting women who come through our doors. He truly ministers grace to the ladies as he receives each one into the program with an outstretched hand and an inviting smile, greeting them with a warm “Welcome home!”
Donna Fernandez, a Teen Challenge graduate and credentialed minister, has been a faithful co-laborer alongside her husband Rick in the ministry. She works diligently behind the scenes keeping the administrative departments flowing smoothly. Donna has continuously pursued higher education in order to attain greater levels of excellence in her life and in her ministry. She has received her BA in Psychology from Trinity International University, is a graduate of the NET Institute in addictions studies with a diploma in Restoration Ministry and Prevention and is also a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP).
Donna provides an outstanding example for the ladies of what a woman of godly character looks like walking out this life with Christ. With her gentle ways and calm demeanor she lives out 2 Corinthians 1:4 which charges us to comfort others with the same comfort we ourselves have received.
Together, Rick and Donna, have braved the front lines of battle in the war against drugs and God has used them mightily to both develop and refine this successful training program for people with life-controlling issues. Their dedication to God and to the ministry of Teen Challenge has been and continues to be greatly rewarded as they are able to witness, firsthand, the transforming power of God at work.
"NO WARRANTY" LEGAL NOTICE: While independent outcomes studies have shown very high recovery rates for indiviuals in our programs, we cannot guarantee recovery for any particular individual. Recovery and future abstinence from addicting substances and the effects that such substances may have on the individual or their life, actions, or their future are entirely dependent on the individual and how well they apply the principles we have taught them. We are an educational institution, and how the individual in our program learns from what they are taught and modeled here, is totally up to them. Individuals who stay the full term (until graduation) have much better long-term recovery from addicitons than those who do not.
FLORIDA, TENNESSEE AND CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS: Please note that Adult & Teen Challenge Centers in Florida are not-for-profit religious institutions, not licensed medical facilities, nor do they accept insurance. Rates are very low compared to for-profit rehabs. Outcomes are based on multiple outcomes studies over the past 50 years, including this study from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse.
UNLIKE A TYPICAL ADDICTION TREATMENT CENTER: For 60 years, we have successfully inspired individuals to break free of their addictions and life-controlling issues. Our low-cost program is not an addiction treatment center — it is a residential educational program designed to reverse the destruction that addictions reap on relationships, careers and futures. We set the former addict on a new course in life with all new motivations and renewed respect, peace and care for others. In a safe, encouraging, drug-free environment, our staff (who are mostly former addicts themselves) work with each individual daily, showing them the way toward a more fulfilling life based on God’s forgiveness, love and purpose. Our model has proven to be highly effective for all addictions, bringing about maturity, honesty, humility, care, and life change. Medical detox may be required before enrolling.
"NO WARRANTY" LEGAL NOTICE: While outcomes studies for Adult & Teen Challenge centers have historically shown high addiction and substance abuse recovery rates, they cannot guarantee addiction recovery for any particular individual. Recovery and future avoidance of addicting substances and whatever effects that such substance may have on the individual's life, their future, their career or their friends or relatives are entirely dependent on each individual and how they apply the principles they are taught in the program.