Our Founder

Wally Bryan’s Street Stories

Wally Bryan founded the Challenge House in 2007 with one goal in mind: build a community that has a thirst for lifelong learning, a faith that transforms behavior, and a mindset of work-over-welfare.

His legacy will live through his work in Christ and the community, and we embody him and his efforts in everything we do at the Challenge House.

Wally has touched many lives, transformed many paths, and has left behind a love for our Lord that will resonate in our communities for generations to come.

Read more about Wally’s personal experiences, and how he was able to take the most casual interactions and turn them into life changing events, here.

“I had the privilege of meeting Wally Bryan, in Hopkinsville in 2004. At that time he was serving the homeless and drug addicted men and women of DA- during a Christmas event. He shared a dream he had about raising money to purchase abandoned homes in the communities impacted most by poverty, and turning them into a Modern Day Hull House movement. For those not in the Social Work field, you won’t understand his dream came after reading about Jane Adams and her passion to serve the immigrant populations- on the Southside of Chicago. She was co-founder of the Hull House (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hull_House). Here was the former Mayor of Hopkinsville, a white man-walking the inner city to minister and show people the love of God. Many thought he was crazy when he planted himself right in the middle of the community he served , I thought he was the personification of a true missionary! He wasn’t trying to be a “white savior” to this often overlooked predominantly African-American community, he wanted to show his neighbors- that he genuinely cared about them and about where they lived. He wanted to bring attention to the injustices they faced and most importantly, he wanted to help- do something about it.In 2008, right after I graduated with my BSW- I got a call from Wally. He invited me to be the first Ambassador for The Challenge House. My role was to move into the home, bring my love and heart for service, along with my SW skills to foster a space where community children, women & families could come and receive services, resources, help and HOPE. In other words-he asked me to be a missionary in a city I loved.The news of his death has made me think of how short our time is here on earth, and how our actions & choices leave a mark on the people around us. Wally’s mark is a Legacy of service, of bridging racial divides, of speaking out for those who’ve been made to feel voiceless, of Loving people-the best way he knew how. HOPKINSVILLE, may the seed of this native son, rekindle his hope of seeing unity in the city, service to the forgotten and LOVE for your fellow man!Oh and his dream to create a movement, did come into fruition-there are multiple Challenge Houses serving their communities throughout the city of Hopkinsville! In honor of Wally’s life, I’d like to invite you to donate to the Challenge House”

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Check out what our Challenge House Ambassadors have been up to their past years with the organization and in their communities, through our blog here.