Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rev. David Wilkerson Dies in Car Crash

Longtime minster Rev. David Wilkerson has died today in a car accident today. He was 79. Wilkerson rose to prominence as the author and central character in the bestselling Christian book "The Cross and the Switchblade", also made into a movie of the same name. He later founded the 5,000 member Times Square Church in New York City in 1987, of which he was the Senior Pastor until he retired last year. 
From the New York Times: 

The Rev. David Wilkerson, an evangelical minister and author who founded the Times Square Church to minister to the downtrodden in one of Manhattan’s seedier precincts, but whose later writings included apocalyptic predictions for New York City and beyond, died on Wednesday in an automobile accident in Texas. He was 79 and lived near Tyler, Tex.

Mr. Wilkerson’s car veered into oncoming traffic on a highway near Cuney, about 110 miles southeast of Dallas, and was hit by a tractor-trailer, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety told The Associated Press.
His wife, Gwendolyn, was seriously injured but is expected to recover, Mr. Wilkerson’s brother, the Rev. Donald Wilkerson, said on Thursday.

David Wilkerson was known to a broad readership through his many books. His most famous, "The Cross and the Switchblade" (1963), chronicled his ministry among gang members in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where he had arrived as a young preacher in the late 1950s.

Written with John and Elizabeth Sherrill, the book has sold tens of millions of copies and has been translated into more than 30 languages, according to its current publisher, Chosen Books.
“The Cross and the Switchblade” was made into a feature film of that name, released in 1970. It starred Pat Boone as Mr. Wilkerson and Erik Estrada, in his first film appearance, as a member of his flock.

Full article HERE.

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