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28 April, 2011 / theexpositor

David Wilkerson has died

I was sadden to learn this morning of the passing of David Wilkerson. Wilkerson was the founder of the Times Square Church in New York City and may have been best known for his book The Cross and The Switchblade. He was a faithful servant , a lover of souls and a bold, compassionate and prophetic voice in the church. He has been a great blessing in my life over the years. Now David Wilkerson receives his reward.

This is an excerpt from the article on Wilkerson’s passing:

“I saw 9-, 10- and 11-year-old kids bombed on crack cocaine. I walked down 42nd Street and they were selling crack. Len Bias, the famous basketball player, had just died of a crack overdose, and the pusher was yelling, ‘Hey, I’ve got the stuff that killed Len,’” recalled Wilkerson, according to the Times Square Church website.

“I wept and prayed, ‘God, you’ve got to raise up a testimony in this hellish place … The answer was not what I wanted to hear: ‘Well, you know the city. You’ve been here. You do it.’”

In October 1987, Wilkerson opened Times Square Church in Town Hall. The church was later moved to its present location, the Mark Hellinger Theater.

Besides founding Times Square Church, Wilkerson is also famous for his bestselling book, The Cross and the Switchblade, which tells the true story of his calling to New York City. The book documents his ministering to youths involved in drugs and gangs. The Cross and the Switchblade is ranked No. 32 in Christianity Today’s list of “Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals.” The book was adapted into a movie in 1970 starring Pat Boone.

Wilkerson is also the founder of Teen Challenge, an evangelical Christian recovery program connected to the Assemblies of God denomination that teaches biblical principles to help young adults struggling with addictions, including drug and alcohol problems. The nonprofit has 233 locations in the United States and 1,181 centers in total worldwide, helping as many as 25,000 people struggling with addiction.

“‘Brother Dave’ was used by God in 1958 to reach out to gang members in New York City. Through that singular act of obedience, tens of thousands of those bound by drug, alcohol and other addictions have found freedom through Jesus Christ,” said Teen Challenge USA, in a statement.

The Wilkerson family wrote a message on the website for World Challenge Inc. ministries, which Wilkerson also founded, saying: “We appreciate your prayers and our hearts are sorrowful, yet we rejoice at the joy of knowing David Wilkerson spent his life well.”

David Wilkerson is survived by his wife and four children.

Times Square Church plans to hold a memorial service for Wilkerson. The date will be announced at a later time.



  1. The Seeking Disciple / Apr 28 2011 14 35

    Truly a great brother that will be missed. How we need prophets to rise up like Wilkerson and like Spurgeon and like Wesley who will call God’s people to repentance and holiness.

  2. willy dihar / Apr 28 2011 19 16

    I would like to express my condolences on the passing of Rev. David Wilkerson. May God raise up more men like him.

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