TeenPact is a leadership school for Christian students that trains youth to “understand the political processes, value their liberty, defend their Christian faith, and engage the culture” at a time in their lives when they’re typically focused on other things. Fueled by intentional growth, encouragement, and education, TeenPact programs are marked by student leadership, spiritual discipleship, parental involvement, and a commitment to excellence. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, TeenPact currently offers classes in almost 40 states and continues to expand nationally. To date, more than 28,000 children, teens, and parents have participated in TeenPact classes nationwide.
TeenPact was founded in 1994 by Tim Echols, who got the idea for the school while attending a prayer meeting in the Georgia Capitol. He and some of the pastors at the meeting named the concept “TeenPact” from the idea of “teens making an impact,” and Echols began developing the curriculum, most of which is still followed today.
Echols started his ministry career with Campus Crusade for Christ, where he worked with the high school division. Five years later, he founded a non-profit with the support of his pastor, Dr. John Rowell. During the ’90s, he refined the TeenPact concept and brought it to Kentucky, Alabama, and South Carolina, among other states. Two things that helped shape TeenPact into the youth-led organization that it is today are Echols’ experiences of working at a Student Council Camp that was run by a student staff and the Baptist Student Union which sent teams of Baptist students all over Georgia. Many of TeenPact’s early students now serve on the board of directors, and the Richmond headquarters is run entirely by former students.
A graduate of the University of Georgia, Echols previously fulfilled the roles of treasurer and spokesman for US Congressman Paul Broun. He has also served on several boards, including the Arlington Group, the Governor’s Office of Children and Families, and CASA. Echols is presently a member of the Public Service Commission, which regulates energy, transportation, and telecom in Georgia.