Worthy Christian News » Christian » American Evangelist David Wilkerson Dies at 79

American Evangelist David Wilkerson Dies at 79

Friday, April 29, 2011 | Tag Cloud

NEW YORK, U.S.A. (Worthy News)-- World famous evangelist David Wilkerson, who founded Times Square Church in New York City and authored the best-selling book, "The Cross and the Switchblade," has died, Worthy News learned Friday, April 29. He was 79.

Wilkerson died Wednesday afternoon in a car accident in East Texas, Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange told reporters.

Wilkerson's car smashed head-on into a tractor-trailer rig after veering into oncoming traffic on U.S. 175 west of Cuney, about 95 miles southeast of Dallas, Mange said.

He founded the non-denominational Protestant Times Square Church in 1987 in an area of Manhattan that was then riddled with X-rated movie houses, strip clubs, prostitution and drugs. He also founded Teen Challenge, which uses a biblically based recovery program for drug addicts.

Wilkerson also showed affection to those often overlooked by society in other countries including in former Communist nations, where religion was discouraged by the previous regime. In 2003 hundreds of Hungarians, including alcoholics and drugs addicts, acknowledged Jesus Christ as their Savior after they came forward at a rally of Wilkerson in one of Budapest's most impoverished districts.


The call came at the end of an evangelistic meeting held in a Communist style conference center with no apparent air conditioning near what is known as Black Hole, a former night club that was recently closed down because of drugs abuse. "For 40 years I have been praying for alcoholics and drugs addicts. I can't change your heart, but the Holy Spirit can," said Wilkerson at the time in his sermon that was translated into the Hungarian language, as he spoke to those who stood in front of the platform.

Although the event was not advertised in public media, up to 3,000 people packed the center's two floors, with many people standing because of a lack of seats, while watching the evangelist on huge cinema screens.

He used his own life experiences to convey that message.

In "The Cross and the Switchblade" Wilkerson wrote about his early years in New York City administering to drug addicts and gang members.

The 1963 book became a best-seller and was made into a movie starring Pat Boone.


His family confirmed his death in a statement posted on the website for Wilkerson's World Challenge Inc. ministries, saying he "went to be with Jesus."

"We appreciate your prayers and our hearts are sorrowful, yet we rejoice at the joy of knowing David Wilkerson spent his life well," the statement said.

Wilkerson was not wearing a seat-belt at the time of the crash, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. His wife, Gwendolyn, was also in the car and was wearing a seat-belt, Mange said. She was taken to a hospital, where she was in stable condition with cuts and bruises, Mange said.

Along with his wife, David Wilkerson is survived by four children.

Copyright 1999-2017 Worthy News. All rights reserved.
Fair Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Worthy Christian News » Christian » American Evangelist David Wilkerson Dies at 79

1 thought on “American Evangelist David Wilkerson Dies at 79

  1. My name is Federico. I live in a small town named Campofranco, in Sicily, Italy. Wednesday 27 April, we have losted the major spiritual father of mondial Church, but will remain to us his sermons and his written. I’m very sad for brother Wilkerson’s death, a great God’s man. I’m very sad above all for the way of his death: for a stradal accident. I’m don’t believe still that he is really dead. But, also for the way of his death is happened he will be remembered. I believe that own Wednesday afternoon (in Italy), perhaps in the same moment when David Wilkerson died, I reflected on the person that could replace worthily David Wilkerson in the mondial Church. Coincidense? And, also now, I ask myself: will be there other God’s ministries as him in this and, if the Lord don’t will returns before, in the future generations? I says it not only to reference to his deep and special anointing in his sermons and books but also for his sincerity and spiritual opening. I have spent years to read his sermons and books. They have enriched my spiritual life. His sermons and books have revolutionize my life. I don’t know if still will exist preacher as him and with a story as his. He will miss to me and he will miss to all world Church: a God’s man that has left to us in inheritance a spiritual impact and a example like that very strong. (Federico Scifo, Sicily, Italy)

    “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7)

    MY E-MAIL: federico.scifo2004@libero.it

Leave a Comment

Worthy Christian News » Christian » American Evangelist David Wilkerson Dies at 79