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David Wilkerson

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David Wilkerson
Born May 19, 1931
Hammond, Indiana
Died April 27, 2011 (aged 79)
US Route 175, Texas
Nationality American
Years active c. 1950 2011
Religion Assemblies of God;
Pentecostal
Spouse(s) Gwen (died July 5, 2012)
Church(es) Times Square Church
Offices held Evangelist
Pastor
Website
www.davidwilkerson.org
David Ray Wilkerson (May 19, 1931 April 27, 2011
[1]
) was an American Christian evangelist, best known for his book The
Cross and the Switchblade. He was the founder of the addiction recovery program Teen Challenge, and founding pastor of
the non-denominational Times Square Church in New York of evangelical doctrine and practice, in which more than 100
nationalities were represented.
[2]

Wilkerson's widely distributed sermons, such as "A Call to Anguish," are known for being direct and frank. He emphasized
such Christian beliefs as God's holiness and righteousness, God's love toward humans and especially Christian views of Jesus.
Wilkerson tried to avoid categorizing Christians into distinct groups according to the denomination to which they belong.
[citation
needed]

Wilkerson was killed in a car crash in Texas on April 27, 2011.
[1]

Contents
[hide]
1 Ministry
2 Prophecies
3 Death
4 Bibliography
5 References
6 External links
[edit]Ministry
Wilkerson served as a pastor in small churches in Scottdale and Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, until he saw a photograph in Life
Magazine in 1958 of seven New York City teenagers charged with murder.
[3]
He later wrote that as he felt the Holy Spirit move
him with compassion, he was drawn to go to New York in February 1958. It was then that he began a street ministry to
young drug addicts and gang members, which he continued into the 1960s.
[3]
Later in 1958, he founded Teen Challenge,
[4]
an
evangelical Christian addiction recovery program affiliated with the Assemblies of God, with a network of Christian social and
evangelizing work centers.
[5]

Wilkerson gained national recognition after he co-authored the book The Cross and the Switchblade in 1963 with John and
Elizabeth Sherrill about his street ministry. The book became a best-seller, with over 50 million copies in over thirty languages,
and is included in Christianity Today's "Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals".
[6]
In the book, Wilkerson tells of
the conversion of gang member Nicky Cruz, who later became an evangelist himself and wrote the autobiographical Run Baby
Run. In 1970, The Cross and the Switchblade was turned into a Hollywood movie starring Pat Boone as Wilkerson and Erik
Estrada as Cruz.
In 1967, Wilkerson began Youth Crusades, an evangelistic ministry aimed at teenagers whom Wilkerson called "goodniks"
middle-class youth who were restless and bored. His goal was to prevent them from becoming heavily involved with drugs,
alcohol, or violence. Through this ministry, the CURE Corps (Collegiate Urban Renewal Effort) was founded. It was intended to
be something of a Christian version of the Peace Corps and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA).
[citation needed]

In 1971, Wilkerson moved his ministry headquarters to Lindale, Texas, where he founded World Challenge, an organization
whose mission is to promote and spread the Gospelthroughout the world.
[citation needed]

Wilkerson believed that in 1986, while walking down 42nd Street in New York City at midnight, the Holy Spirit called him to
return to New York City and to raise up a ministry inTimes Square. He founded and became the pastor of Times Square
Church,
[1]
which opened its doors in October 1987. The church first occupied rented auditoriums in Times Square (Town Hall
and the Nederlander Theater), later moving to the historic Mark Hellinger Theatre, which the ministry purchased in 1989 and
in which it has operated ever since.
[citation needed]

From the 1990s, Wilkerson focused his efforts to encourage pastors and their families throughout the world to "renew their
passion for Christ". In his own words:
I've been an evangelist for 50 years, but I didn't want to preach to pastors until I had gray hair, until I'd pastored. Now after 15
years of pastoring, sharing the hurts, pains, and difficulties of the ministry as a pastor, I felt the Lord finally release me, that I
might have something to say.
[citation needed]

Wilkerson and his wife Gwen moved to New York City at the inception of Times Square Church in 1987, and in 2006 began
splitting their time between New York and Texas. They have four children and eleven grandchildren.
[citation needed]

[edit]Prophecies
Wilkerson received a vision in 1973 regarding the future of the United States, subsequently published in a book called The
Vision. Some of the subject areas of this prophecy were: "Worldwide recession caused by economic confusion"; "Nature
having labor pains"; "A flood of filth and a baptism of dirt in America"; "Rebellion in the home"; and "A persecution madness
against truly Spirit filled Christians who love Jesus Christ".
[edit]Death
On April 27, 2011, while driving east on US Route 175 in Texas, Wilkerson crossed into the westbound lane and collided head-
on with a tractor trailer. He was pronounced dead on the scene. His wife Gwen was injured.
[7]

Although Gwen survived the accident she passed away July 5, 2012, from cancer. They are survived by 4 children, their
spouses, 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
[8]

Wilkerson's messages were often exhortations of faith and hope in the midst of troubles,
[9]
and his last blog post included the
following:
To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights
and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, `I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will
all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me
embrace you in your hour of pain.
[10]

[edit]Bibliography
The Cross and the Switchblade (with John and Elizabeth Sherrill) . Jove. 1962.
[3]
, ISBN 0-5150-9025-5
America's Last Call, On the Brink of a Financial Holocaust
[11]
(1998), ISBN 0-8836-8617-1
Beyond The Cross and the Switchblade (1974), ISBN 0-8912-9151-2
Born Old (1966) original title The Little People, ISBN 0-5510-1076-2
David Wilkerson Exhorts the Church (1991) ISBN 9780829703962
David Wilkerson Speaks Out (1973), ISBN 978-0871230911
Dearly Beloved
[12]
(2009), ISBN 0-9712187-4-9
End Times New Testament ISBN 978-0912376110
Get Your Hands Off My Throat (1971), ISBN 978-8472281332
God's Plan to Protect His People in the Coming Depression
[13]
(1998), ISBN 978-0883686164
Hallowed Be Thy Names
[14]
(May 2001) ISBN 0-9709326-0-X
Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately?
[15]
(1980) ISBN 0-8007-8481-2
Hey, Preach . . . You're Comin' Through! (1968) ISBN 978-0891290643
Hungry For More of Jesus
[16]
(February 1992) ISBN 978-0800792008
I'm Not Mad at God (1967), ISBN 978-0871232458
I've Given Up On Parents (1969), ISBN 978-0340108291
Jesus Christ Solid Rock: The Return Of Christ (with Kathryn Kuhlman, Hal Lindsey and W. A. Criswell) (1973)
Jesus Person Maturity Manual
Jesus Person Pocket Promise Book (1972)
The Jesus walk: Selected " why's " and " how-to's " for a closer walk with Christ (A Regal Jesus Person Maturity
book) (1972), ISBN 978-0830701711
Life on the Edge of Time (1972) ISBN 978-0800705534
Man, Have I Got Problems (1969) ISBN 978-0515046687
My Bible Speaks to Me
The New Covenant Unveiled
[17]
(April 2000), ISBN 978-0966317237
One Way To Where? (1972), ISBN 978-0830701698
Parents on Trial (1967)
Pocket Promise Book (1972), ISBN 0-8307-0191-5
Pocket Proverbs (1983), ISBN 0-8307-0893-6
Promises To Live By, ISBN 978-0830718870
Purple Violet Squish (1969), ISBN 978-0551000483
Racing Toward Judgment (1976), ISBN 978-0800782764
Rebel's Bible (1970), ISBN 978-0551007512
Revival on Broadway
[18]
(September 1996), ISBN 978-0966317206
Rock Bottom (pamphlet) (1981)
Set the Trumpet to thy Mouth (1985), ISBN 978-0883686409
Sipping Saints
[19]
(1978), ISBN 0-8007-8339-5
Suicide (1978), ISBN 978-0800786434
This Is Loving? (1972), ISBN 978-0830701704
Triumph Through Tragedy
[20]
(2001), ISBN 978-0800793562
Twelve Angels from Hell (1965), ISBN 978-0551004238
The Untapped Generation (with Don Wilkerson) (1971), ISBN 978-1135577704
Victory Over Sin and Self (1980) Originally titled Two of Me, ISBN 978-0800784348
The Vision (1973), ISBN 0-515-03286-7.
What Every Teenager Should Know About Drugs (1971), ISBN 978-0551050679
When In Doubt, Faith It! (1972), ISBN 978-0830701681