This is the History of and Reporting Guide for Teen Challenge of Oklahoma (Locations: Tulsa, Jay, Cache, and Disney)  


On this page you will find incomplete staff and complaint histories with sources cited (i.e. Progress Report), the general advisory against segregated congregate care with sources cited, and a reporting guide for those unlawfully harmed or firsthand witnesses to unlawful harm by or at this location to report violations of the law to the proper authorities/law enforcement.  The staff list itself will not be updated with additional names out of a sense of fairness where those providing the names ask for anonymity or confidentiality.  And, this program will remain eligible for merciful release if all criteria are met and no guest sermon is provided by a qualifying sponsor by that time.  In the meantime, it can graduate the COPE Conversion Program by meeting the Honesty In Marketing Standards (HIMS) or permanently close to be removed from the watch-list/released from the COPE Conversion Program.  If permanently closed prior to graduation or merciful release, it will be buried in the virtual graveyard





Additional Information
Wayne Gray Executive Director ALL OKLAHOMA PROGRAMS!  --Tulsa Location--Oklahoma Teen Challenge (Gray was formerly employed with the following Teen Challenge locations: North Little Rock-AR, Hot Springs-AR, and Memphis-TN.)  *
Shawn T. Blankenship Director Jay Location--Brush Creek Youth Ranch for Boys  The enrollment contract for this program and detailed program description are not made available to the public.  This program only provides a 4-page "questionnaire-type" application online. 
Shanon Blankenship Shawn's wife/Co-Director  
Scott Hay Lead Direct Care He "graduated" from New England Teen Challenge in January 2005 .
Tina Bergwitz Assistant Cult/program parent.  No legitimate training or "expertise".
Joel Meade Direct Care Staff  
Rick Balmer Staff "Graduate" of Hot Springs, Arkansas Teen Challenge.
Kelly Thomas (male) Staff "Graduate" of Sonrise Ranch--Teen Challenge.
Rich Walker Staff "Graduate" of the Rocky Mountain Teen Challenge in Denver, CO.
Kaleb Kilhoffer Staff "Graduate" of Sonrise Ranch--Teen Challenge.
Doug Nies Executive Director Cache Location--Sonrise Ranch for Men  There was no additional staff info available at time of listing.*  The enrollment materials for this location are not made available to the public.
Carrie Collins Director Disney Location--New LifeHouse Girls Program--Collins has her degree from the Assemblies of God and also formerly worked for New Hope Teen Challenge in Utah. 
Pam Rowe Asst. Director  
Melanie Clark Director of Education  
Christina Florence Direct Care Staff Also worked for Teen Mania Ministries.
Joan Littlefield Direct Care Staff  
Judy Bell Direct Care Staff Wife to Rev. James Bell.  With Jay First Assembly of God Church.
Kari Leach Monitor  
Heidi Anders Direct Care Staff Heidi attends the Assembly of God Church in Disney.
Joseph Rowe Maintenance He attends Disney Assembly of God Church in Disney.
Karen Coon Director Sapulpa Location--Freedom House for Women--Qualifications--"recovering addict".--There is no additional information on staff at this location.*  HEAL is in the process of reviewing the enrollment materials for this program.
12/8/21: COPE Conversion Program Progress Report on Teen Challenge in OK:


All segregated congregate care providers, including those on our watch-list, are welcome to contact us to correct any information or provide additional data that may assist with delivering the whole truth to the public.  The HEAL Mission of COPE (HEAL) found in many cases where this offer has been abused or resulted in revealing additional basis for our concerns. For some examples see feedback.  Now, we are willing to look at the facts and may have questions or require documentation backing up any claims.  We do verify licensing, academic backgrounds, and other qualifications when investigating and researching programs on our watch-lis/enrolled in the Conversion Program to assist consumers seeking additional information on such programs or victims requiring assistance with getting corroborating evidence of their claims.  We do that in order to make sure the information we provide is accurate and verified and cite our sources.  In the event any information we've posted is in error, we're happy to make a correction. 

HEAL does not support segregated congregate care for many reasons which include that many such facilities are abusive, exploitative, fraudulent, and lack effective oversight often as a result of fraudulent misrepresentation coupled with the ignorance of those seeking to enroll loved ones in such facilities, programs, schools, or centers without a valid court order and involuntarily.  In the United States such involuntary placements done without a court order are apparently illegal as they either violate the Americans with Disabilities Act community integration requirement or due process rights of those involuntarily placed.  Now, in regards to parents, in the United States parents have the right to waive their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children.  See for more information.  Now, most facilities on our watch list include waivers, indemnity clauses, and sworn statements legal guardians must sign assuring the program that the parents/legal guardians have the right to make the placement involuntarily and without due process in a segregated congregate care environment, however, California and federal prosecutors as well as settled law appears to suggest that is not the case.  In fact, in the David Taylor case found at , Taylor sued Provo Canyon School and his mother as co-defendants.  His mother was found liable for 75% of the damages awarded to Taylor as a result of multiple complaints including false imprisonment, while the program was found only 25% liable because the mother owed a duty of due diligence to investigate anyone to which she would entrust care of her child and she failed to do so. 

Now, HEAL opposes segregated congregate care and we find most placements are happening illegally in the USA which if the youth understood their rights would result in unfortunate outcomes for the parents, particularly when they don't exercise good judgment and support the fraud and abuse rather than their own children when they need remedy and justice.  And, HEAL supports all victims of fraud and abuse in seeking remedies at law for any crimes or torts committed against them.  And, that's true whether or not the program or victims are in the USA. 

HEAL has a 5 point argument against segregated congregate care we'd like you to consider:

a.  Segregated care is unconstitutional and a civil rights violation.  It is only permissible if a person is unable to survive independent of an institutional environment.  For more on this, watch the HEAL Report at  Or, see:  which includes in part:    "United States v. Florida – 1:12-cv-60460 – (S.D. Fla.) – On April 7, 2016, the United States filed an Opposition to the State of Florida’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.  In the Motion, the State had asked the Court to rule, on a variety of grounds, that the United States could not recover damages for unnecessarily institutionalized children to whom the State had been deliberately indifferent."

b.  Institutionalization is always dehumanizing and coercive.  Institutionalization always harms the institutionalized and deprives them of protected civil rights.  Dr. David Straker, Psychiatry Professor at Columbia University's School of Medicine (Ivy League) explains this in detail at  "Many institutions, from prisons to monasteries to asylums, deliberately want to control and manage their inmates such that they conform and do not cause problems. Even in less harsh environments, many of the institutionalization methods may be found, albeit in more moderated form (although the psychological effect can be equally devastating)."  (See website linked in this paragraph for more info.)

c.  Institutionalization is not in the best interest of children.  Institutions are not ever better for a child than living with a loving family.  Source:       

d.  Reform schools, residential treatment programs, and other segregated congregate care settings have been shown to be ineffective and harmful.  Best source on this currently is:

e. Boarding Schools, even the "good ones", result in a form of social death, isolation, and cause both anxiety and depression.  Therefore, it is clearly not in the best interest of the youth subjected to those environments.  Sources: and

Beyond the above arguments against segregated congregate care, we have reports from the NIH, Surgeon General, Yale University Studies, and much more showing the methodologies of behavior modification are damaging, harmful, and ineffective.  You can request these documents via e-mail.  In addition, for such programs offering academic services or claiming to offer diplomas, certifications, or the like, it is important to check to see if it is a diploma mill with no accredited academic services.  Please see article: "Avoiding Scams: What You Need To Know"  for important information on how to avoid education/training scams.

If you'd like to see what HEAL suggests rather than segregated congregate care (i.e. committing a crime or tort against your child if done against their will without a court order), please see articles: "Fix Your Family, Help Your Teen" and "Emancipation Guide".
In Oklahoma, the criminal statutes of limitation are 3 years on most misdemeanors, 3-7 years on most felonies (in regards to rape of a child the victim is given until their 45th birthday to report or 3 years once the perpetrator's identity is known/established) and no statutes of limitation on murder.  For civil suits in Oklahoma, the statute of limitations is 2 years depending on cause of action. 

Options for you to take action and/or seek redress/justice today are listed below:

1.  Report crimes such as assault, fraud, battery, labor trafficking, and child abuse to law enforcement in Oklahoma (call law enforcement where your program is located).  Choose and contact the correct law enforcement office for your location below to inquire about filing an official complaint which may provide the probable cause needed to get a warrant for investigation and/or prosecution:

Teen Challenge in Tulsa, OK Call Tulsa Police at (918)596-9222
Teen Challenge in Jay, OK Call Jay Police at (918) 253-4277
Teen Challenge in Cache, OK Call Cache Police at (580) 429-3381
Teen Challenge in Disney, OK Call Disney Police at (918) 435-8188

2.  File a consumer complaint with your home state's attorney general against Teen Challenge and include your request for compensation for any harm done to you.  If you live in Oklahoma and/or would like to file consumer complaint as a non-resident with the Attorney General of Oklahoma, visit

3.  If you do not wish to file a consumer complaint, you can contact a private personal injury attorney and look into suing in tort/civil court.  However, if you can't afford the retainer, you should expect to settle out of court with a non-disclosure agreement which may bar you from speaking publicly about the incident because you've agreed (even if with a grumbling assent) to the terms of the settlement. 
4.  You may send a new e-mail to with subject "Post My Feedback" and we will post your feedback (e-mail printed to .pdf disclosing your name and e-mail address and any information in your e-mail with that subject) to  and add a direct link to those .pdf files to this page . 

 5. You may also wish to provide a guest sermon.  Guest sermons are posted at , under Progress Reports/Guest Sermons at where appropriate, and on program info pages when applicable.  So, one provided by you on your program would also be placed on this page .  Guest sermons should be written into the body of an e-mail and sent to . Your first and last name will be disclosed (contact info will not be unless you expressly request disclosure).  For sermons available on our site see  (and sermon archives linked on that page).  If you have questions about this option, please contact Please see  to get an idea what your sermon may be worth.


 Last Updated: March 1st, 2023


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