Remembering David

—————– from the Times Square Church web site.

On Wednesday, April 27 I lost one of the most influential people in my Christian life. Rev. David Wilkerson was killed in a car accident driving with his wife, Gwen, across Texas. I don’t really recall the first time I heard about Rev. Wilkerson, but I do remember reading The Cross and the Switchblade, a book about his amazing ministry among the drug addicts of New York City. If you have not read it, you have missed a blessing. My son just finished reading it again, this time together with his 10-year-old daughter. They were reading chapter by chapter. Yesterday I posted on Facebook about the death. My son could not believe it. They were near the end of the book. Now Jessica would know who this man was when he told her about the death of this great child of God.

Rev. Wilkerson’s ministry spread throughout the United States and the world. Teen Challenge Centers were set up everywhere and they had a phenomenal recovery rate for the addicted. They base their treatment plan on immersion in the teachings of Christ, being filled with the Holy Spirit and learning good work habits with service to others. My husband and I supported a rehabilitation center in Rehrersburg, Pennsylvania for many years. The head of that center came to the church we attended and ministered mightily to us as a couple. We will never forget how they loved.  There is a YouTube video on the rehabilitation center you can watch if you’re interested.

Rev Wilkerson lived what he believed. He truly believed we must bear God’s heart, burdens and passion. He did this fearlessly. Once he was sure of what God wanted him to do, he let nothing stop him…and nothing did. God’s angels surrounded him and protected him many times. I saw him last as he preached in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was about 1994 or so, he’d have been about 63. He had to sit on a stool while he preached because he was so weak, but he was there. He challenged and encouraged and stayed long to pray.

I will never forget him,



7 comments on “Remembering David

  1. This brought back memories for me. “The Cross and the Switchblade” was perhaps the most influential book of my teen years. I grew up extremely protected and knew almost nothing of the world he ministered to. It was my first big eye-opening moment to the world around me. And I don’t think I was ever the same after that. This man of God surely made a difference wherever he went — whether it was in a church where he presented his ministry, or on the streets. Thank you for posting this today. I had not heard of his accident and homegoing. He will surely be missed.

  2. Oh, Dawn! I hadn’t heard of his passing, either. I, too, remember reading his books and the profound influence they had on my faith. I don’t remember if I ever got to hear him speak but I did hear Nicky Cruz speak when he came to a nearby town when I was a teenager or adolescent.

    I am saddened to hear of this yet he has to be in with the Father now. I will miss his newsletters. I wonder how his wife is doing; was she injured or is she ok?

    Thank you for sharing this, Dawn.

    • Dear A and Cora,

      I am so glad I posted this for those of you who knew him and hadn’t heard of the accident. The Times Square Church is going to steam his funeral. I really want to “attend.” It is so like you, A, to think of his wife. She was in critical condition and was rushed to a hospital for care. I haven’t any further news.

      I’ll send you e-mails if I hear anything more,

  3. Dawn, thank you. That would be nice. His life was such a gift, wasn’t it? Teen Challenge has done so much good for so many. So has Times Square church. Ultimately, I know, the praise goes to our Father.


  4. Dawn, I had my important ones from the early years of my faith – Robert Schuler comes to mind. I know what an impact he had on me – even though his gospel was a little too much positive thinking and not enough Jesus for my tastes as a grown up Christian. But he was my start. I know how I would feel if I heard of his passing. I really know nothing of David Wilkerson – but you know him – and you knew his message – and that’s enough for me. I’m sure heaven rejoices as the earth stands still a little bit. God bless you Dawn.

  5. David Wilkerson was paramount in our early faith too…Thanks for posting this.
    I had added his website to my email inbox just the day before he died and my first post was the one telling us of his accident. I was quite shocked and … cried 😦

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