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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

David Wilkerson: May 19, 1931 - April 27, 2011

David Wilkerson
5/19/1931 - 4/27/2011
by Dr. Bill Smith: In my life, many people have shaped my opinion on issues, but few had an effect on shaping my soul and outlook as a Christian. One of the later individuals was David Wilkerson. David died today and will be missed.

Unlike a lot of people and organizations that send you junk mail or overwhelm you with request for money, I never received from David Wilkerson "junk" or any pressure to give more money. I looked forward with anticipation to his weekly World Challenge newsletter which were his weekly sermons. My wife and I would both read them. I often asked myself how does this guy know me and my needs. He was straightforward, frank, truthful but not condemning. He emphasized God's holiness and righteousness, God's love, and Jesus' relationship with us. While a prophet of our times sharing warnings he never preached fear but shared about liberty and spiritual freedom that comes through following the Lord Jesus Christ. And, his words often brought me to prayer.

Charisma and CBN have reported that David Wilkerson died in a car crash. His wife Gwen, was also involved in the crash and was rushed to the hospital where she is said to be in critical condition. Wilkerson was 79 and would have been 80 in 22  days. Our prayers are with Gwen and their family. They have four children and eleven grandchildren.

Times Square Church posted on its website: "It is with deepest of sadness that we have to inform you of the sudden passing of Reverend David Wilkerson, our founding pastor." Times Square Church in New York City, has more than 8,000 members. He was also founder of World Challenge Ministries.

Wilkerson was an evangelist for 50 years and a pastor for 15 years.  He is best known for his early years of street evangelism and ministry to young drug addicts and gang members in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1963, he co-authored the book "The Cross and the Switchblade," a true story, which later became a successful Christian movie. The book has been identified as one of the most popular books in evangelical history. With over 50 million copies sold in over thirty languages, it is ranked #32 in Christianity Today's list of "Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals. He created Teen Challenge ministry which remains prominent in discussions of drug treatment and social service partnerships between church and government.

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 Gospel throughout the world. In 1986, while walking down 42nd Street in New York City at midnight, Wilkerson identified that that the Holy Spirit called him to return to New York City and to raise up a ministry in Times Square. This resulted in the establishment of Times Square Church, which opened its doors in October 1987.

While we say goodnight to David Wilkerson, I know I will see him again shortly (as the Lord measures time). I know he would like to see you too. Please keep Gwen and their family, staff and close friends in your prayers.

Tags: David Wilkerson, life, death, died, Christian, evangelist, pastor, writer, Teen Challenge,  World Challenge, Times Square church, Cross and the Switchblade To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:15 PM - Post Link

4 Comments:

Anonymous Ed Boston said...

Thanks for sharing Dr. Bill and God's comfort to you and those who knew and loved this man.

4/28/2011  
Anonymous Gordon James Klingenschmitt said...

Thank you Bill.....this is amazing....David's last blog entry before he died: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/13112 "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.”

5/03/2011  
Anonymous Jennifer Pointer said...

Thanks, Dr. Bill. No, I hadn't heard, yet. I've always admired him, for being the kind of Christian who is more about "walk" than "talk." I watched "The Cross and the Switchblade" several times as a kid, and heard him speak in person a couple of times. He was the real deal. We've lost a real treasure, but he's with his Creator now, and I know there's much rejoicing in Heaven today. My prayers are with his wife and family.

5/03/2011  
Anonymous Black Regiment said...

Praying for the family.

5/03/2011  

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