David Chadwell, 54, serves as the assistant to both Pastor Robert Pavlich, Chief Executive Officer of Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley, and Alicia Santilli, ATCOV’s Chief Operating Officer. He also oversees the admissions department and has been working at ATCOV for nearly seven years.
David, a Tennessee native, went into an Adult & Teen Challenge in Michigan as a client in 2004. He used cocaine, initially as a weight-loss tool, and got hooked. That fed his struggles with anxiety and depression. “Pastor Bob and I were students together there,” David said. “That’s how we got to know each other.” After completing the program, David stayed on as a staff member for 10 years, becoming a pastor and marrying the daughter of that Michigan Teen Challenge’s CEO.
He left to work at a church, but slipped back into depression. He attempted suicide and was admitted to a hospital where he stayed for five weeks. Despite the hospital’s treatments, David woke up every morning wishing he was dead. But Pastor Bob intervened. “Pastor Bob found out I was there” and in 2015 brought David to ATCOV where he entered a four-month restoration program.
Upon completing the program, he joined the staff. “All my gifts and talents are administrative so it just very quickly developed that that’s what the Lord called me to do here,” David explained. “I’ve been working with Pastor Bob ever since. It’s been an honor because I 100 percent know it was his obedience to God and his love and friendship that God gave him for me that saved my life.” His life is much better now.
“I wake up every day grateful, knowing that I’m going to be serving the Lord every day and what he called me to do which is a mission to try to help people get what I got,” he said.
“Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else,” he said. “I have such a love for this ministry and all of the clients and for Pastor Bob…I just know God wants me to make sure people got what I got. I can’t imagine not being able to serve him the way I do and right now in my life I can’t envision doing it anywhere else.”