History of the Homes

Date ministry started:

June 21, 1967


John and Elsie Benton

Chronological History:


March – David Wilkerson came to Spokane, Washington, and asked John and Elsie Benton to join staff at Teen Challenge in Brooklyn, New York.

April – John and Elsie Benton, with their three children, move to Farmingdale, New York.  John Benton traveled with David Wilkerson in Crusades, along serving as Associate Director of Teen Challenge.

September – David Wilkerson asked John Benton to take over as Director of Women’s Home in New York.

November – John and Elsie Benton went out on the street looking for a prostitute. The second night they met Sandy who is now a missionary with her husband and children in St. Thomas.


September – John Benton’s first book Debs, Dolls & Dope is published.  John Benton started looking for a place outside the city where we could take the ladies program.


March – John and Elsie Benton were invited to a dinner party at Sonya and Paul Dilena’s home with David and Gwen Wilkerson and Pauline and Walter Hoving.  Mr. Hoving asked John what his future plans were and John told him he was looking for a place for the women outside the city.  Mr. Hoving said to come see him and he could direct him to the Jones Foundation.

Spring – David Wilkerson and John Benton stood on the bank of the stream running through the property in Garrison, New York and believed in God for this 22 and one half acre estate to become a rehabilitation center for girls.

June – Moved to Garrison, New York, to the former Local 32b Home with twelve ladies, four staff and the Benton family.  The Jones Foundation committed their foundation to pay $15,000 every year until the home was paid for.  They paid $175,000 for the home.

 June – Carmella Pacheco graduated and now her and her husband direct the national New Life for Girls Program.

 June – Dedication of the Garrison facilities with the Teen Challenge Inc. Board of Directors.

 September – First girls leave for further training.


September – Establishment of the Educational Committee to up-grade the curriculum and program.

May 2 – First official graduation.  Each of the three graduates went on to Bible School.


September 7 – Business office opened in Garrison, New York.

October 24 – First performance of The Walter Hoving Home Choir.


David Wilkerson told John Benton he needed to move his family into home of their own.

April – Formation of The Walter Hoving Home Advisory Board

October – Formation of The Walter Hoving Home Womens  Auxiliary

December – Certificate of Occupancy granted by the Philipstown Zoning Board of Appeals of the town of Philipstown, Putnam County New York, to operate as a non-medical drug treatment center

December – Ninth graduation held with each of the four graduates leaving for further training


April – The Benton’s move into their new home above the main house.  The first zoning hearing held.  Won it three to two.  Almost got kicked out of Garrison.

May – Jan Quintel, graduate of the first class, appointed Director of Boston Teen Challenge Girls Home.  Her long range goal while in the program was to be the Director of a girls home.

Of the 26 graduates since May 1969, 25 are living a drug-free life


May – The Graduating Class of 1973 had 8 women.


May – The Graduating Class of 1974 had 6 women.

Built another home for 26 more ladies on the property


June – The Graduating Class of 1975 had 7 women.

July – John Benton wondered if the home would have to declare bankruptcy because we were $11,000 in debt.  He prayed and the Lord told him to send out a special appeal stating our need.

Lila and Dewitt Wallace of Reader’s Digest received a third class letter and responded with an $11,000 check. Other responded also.

Lynn graduated and she met her husband Rodney, they became Assemblies of God missionaries in Paraguay and now direct the New England Teen Challenge.

Mr. Hoving approached about making a pin that said Try God.  Mr. Hoving had money from pin donated to the home.


May – The Graduating Class of 1976 had 12 women.


May – The Graduating Class of 1977 had 14 women.


May – The Graduating Class of 1978 had 25 women.


 May – The Graduating Class of 1979 had 22 women.


 May – The Graduating Class of 1980 had 19 women.

 Second zoning hearing for new building.  Won it four to one! (getting better votes)

 Began construction on the Administration Building, which houses office, chapel and school


May – The Graduating Class of 1981 had 27 women.


 May – The Graduating Class of 1982 had 14 women.


May – The Graduating Class of 1983 had 16 women.

Benton’s go to California to start another Walter Hoving Home.

First girls get straight A’s in college and Master’s Degree program.

Barb Gilliam and her husband now live in California, she is an Assemblies of God minister.


 May – The Graduating Class of 1984 had 15 women.



May – The Graduating Class of 1985 had 6 women. The standards for graduation were restructured with women being out of the program for a  year before returning to graduate.


 May – The Graduating Class of 1986 had 9 women.


May – The Graduating Class of 1987 had 9 women.


May – The graduating class of 1988 had 9 women.


May – The graduating class of 1989 had 14 women.


May – The Graduating Class of 1990 had 12 women.

 Was almost shut down because of sewage field problem.  Began engineering studies. We were required to reduce population to 30 girls.


May – The Graduating Class of 1991 had 6 women.


May – We had our 25th Anniversary Celebration with many graduates coming for the day.

June – The Graduating Class of 1992 had 9 women.

SeptemberAll permit acquired for sewage treatment plant.  Won zoning hearing five to zero.  Hope to complete by January 31, 1993 so that we can increase to 60 girls in the program

October It seems no matter where we go in the U.S. and even other parts of the world, we meet our ladies who have completed the program and live for Jesus.  To God be the Glory.


May – The Graduating Class of 1993 had 4 women.


March The Sewage Treatment Plant was completed and we were able to expand to 60 women.

May – The Graduating Class of 1994 had 5 women.


 May – The Graduating Class of 1995 had 8 women.


May – The Graduating Class of 1996 had 5 women.


May – The Graduating Class of 1997 had 7 women.


June – The Graduating Class of 1998 had 11 women.


June – The Graduating Class of 1999 had 6 women.


June – The Graduating Class of 2000 had 8 women.


June – The Graduating Class of 2001 had 9 women.


June – The Graduating Class of 2002 had 3 women.    


June – The Graduating Class of 2003 had 7 women.


June – The Graduating Class of 2004 had 5 women.


JuneThe Graduating Class of 2005 had 13 women.


June – The Graduating Class of 2005 had 10 women.

September – The Las Vegas Home opened on Red Rock Street.


June – The Graduating Class of 2007 had 8 women.


June – The Graduating Class of 2008 had 6 women.

August – We were in need of more staff housing and one of the neighbors was selling. As we begin to pray and seek for the right direction, John met with a Foundation and told them of the need and we received a check in the mail to purchase that home.



June – The Graduating Class of 2009 had 13 women.


June – The Graduating Class of 2010 had 12 women.


June – The Graduating Class of 2011 had 8 women.


Types of Services Offered Today:

We have a 6-month and 12-month residential program along with a 12-month re-entry phase. We help women ages 17 and up with alcohol and drug addiction and other life-controlling problems. We have a 75 bed Home on a 23-acre estate in Garrison, New York, a 50-bed hotel in Pasadena, California, and a 10-bed home in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Dream/Vision for the next 50 Years:

We hope to be able to increase the number of women we are able to serve and continue to improve the quality of care that we give.


How would you characterize your ministry from its start day to today?

We would have never dreamed that God would allow us to do the things we have been able to do and help so many women. Everywhere we travel it seems like we run into someone who has either been helped or knows someone who has been helped at the Walter Hoving Home.