David Wilkerson Ministries

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Pastor Wilkerson of David Wilkerson Ministries co-authored a book in 1963.

The book became a best-selling phenomenon with more than 50 million copies being distributed in over 30 languages.

Born May 19, 1931 in Hammond, Indiana, he died in a severe car crash in East Texas April 28 2011.

He was the evangelist, most famous for that book, "The Cross and the Switchblade."

He is also the founder of Times Square Church in New York, an interdenominational church.

David Wilkerson Ministries sermons, such as "A Call to Anguish," are known for being direct and frank. He emphasizes Christian beliefs, such as: God's holiness and righteousness, God's love toward humans and especially Christian views of Jesus.

Wilkerson tries to avoid categorizing Christians into distinct groups according to the denomination they belong to, and as such he is an evangelist with broad-based appeal.

Reverend Wilkerson served
as pastor in small churches

in Scottdale and Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, until he saw a photograph in Life Magazine in 1957 of seven New York City teenagers charged with murder. He later wrote that, as he felt the Holy Ghost move him with compassion, he was drawn to go to New York in February 1958. It was then that he began his street ministry, David Wilkerson Ministries, to underprivileged inner-city youth.

David Wilkerson is well-known for these early years of his ministry to young drug addicts and gang members in New York City in the 1950's and 1960's. Wilkerson co-authored a book about his work with the New York drug addicts, The Cross and the Switchblade, which became a best-seller. Included in the book is the story of Nicky Cruz's decision to become a Christian. The book has sold over 15 million copies in over thirty languages since it was published in 1963.

In 1970 the book was also released under
the same title as a Hollywood movie...

...starring Pat Boone as Wilkerson and Erik Estrada as Cruz, and was included among the 100 most important Christian books of the 20th century.

In the early 1960's David Wilkerson, his wife, Loren and Darlene Cunningham, and Howard and Pat Foltz, prayed together in Colorado. Their prayer birthed 3 ministries: Teen Challenge USA (Wilkerson's), YWAM (Cunningham's), and Teen Challenge Europe-Asia (Foltz's), which have reached youth and adults, many with life-controlling problems worldwide, through its centers and ministry. Teen Challenge's USA and Europe-Asia ministry is a biblical based recovery program for drug addicts that has been recognized as one of the most effective efforts of its kind.

In 1967, David Wilkerson Ministries began Youth Crusades, an evangelistic ministry that was aimed to reach teenagers whom David Wilkerson called "goodniks" — middle-class youth who were restless and bored. His goal was to prevent them from becoming heavily involved with drugs, alcohol, or violence. Through this ministry, CURE Corps (Collegiate Urban Renewal Effort) was founded. It was intended to be something of a Christian version of the Peace Corps and VISTA.

In 1971, David Wilkerson Ministries moved his headquarters to the obscure town of Lindale, Texas, just outside of Tyler, where he founded World Challenge. The organization's mission is to promote and spread the Gospel throughout the world.

In 1986, while walking down 42nd Street
in New York City at midnight,

David Wilkerson believes 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.

The church first occupied rented auditoriums in Times Square (Town Hall and the Nederlander Theatre), later moving to the historic Mark Hellinger Theatre, which David Wilkerson Ministries purchased in 1989 and in which it has operated ever since.

For over four decades, David Wilkerson Ministries has included preaching, teaching and writing. He has authored over 30 books.

Since the 1990s, David Wilkerson Ministries has focused efforts to encourage pastors and their families throughout the world to "renew their passion for Christ." In his own words: "I've been an evangelist for 50 years, but I didn't want to preach to pastors until I had gray hair, until I'd pastored. Now after 15 years of pastoring, sharing the hurts, pains, and difficulties of David Wilkerson Ministries, I felt the Lord finally release me, that I might have something to say."

Wilkerson and his wife Gwen moved to New York City at the inception of Times Square Church in 1987, and in 2006 began splitting their time between New York and Texas (near David Wilkerson Ministries World Challenge offices in Lindale). They have four children and eleven grandchildren. His son Gary Wilkerson has also begun to gain recognition as a Christian minister and evangelist.

In 1973, David Wilkerson claimed
to have received a vision

regarding the future of the United States and subsequently gave a sermon on the vision and published a book called The Vision. Wilkerson believed that God had revealed to him a great calamity which was going to befall America due to increase in sins such as homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, and greed.

Some of the details of this 1973 vision were:

"Worldwide recession caused by economic confusion"

"At most a few more fat flourishing years, and then an economic recession that's going to affect the life style of every wage-earner in the world. The world economists are going to be at loss to explain what's happening. It's going to start in Germany, spread to Japan and finally to the United States."

There will be a move toward a worldwide, unified monetary system. The US dollar will be hit bad and it will take years for it to recover. The only real security will be in real estate (until a somewhat later stage, at which point this apparent security will also disappear).

"Nature having labor pains" Environmentalists will come under heavy criticism.

There will be major earthquakes. There will be a major famine. Floods, hurricanes and tornadoes will increase in frequency.

"A new kind of cosmic storm appearing as a raging fire in the sky leaving a kind of vapor trail."

"A flood of filth and a baptism of dirt in America"

Topless women will appear on television, followed by full nudity. Adult, X rated movies will be shown on cable television. Young people will gather at homes to watch this kind of material in groups.

Sex and the occult will be mixed.

There will be an acceptance of homosexuality, and the church will even say that it is a God-given gift.

"Rebellion in the home" "I see the new number one youth problem in America and the world as hatred towards parents."

"A persecution madness against truly Spirit filled Christians who love Jesus Christ"

There will arise a world church consisting of a union between liberal ecumenical Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church, using Christ in name only.

There will be a hate Christ movement.

There will be a spiritual awakening behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains. There will be another wave of riots. There will be a fall in moral conduct.

There will be a new drug that will be popular with teenagers that will break down resistance and will encourage sexual activity. Homosexual and lesbian ministers will be ordained and this will be heralded as a new breed of pioneer.

There will be nude dancing in church, but this will never be widespread.

There will be occult practices in churches.

Since then, Wilkerson has continued to produce prophetic books, all predicting economic disasters, food shortages, rising crime, and ultimately, destruction for the United States. He urged his followers to store food, water, and medicine for a coming disaster in the late 1990's book entitled God's Plan to Protect His People in the Coming Depression.

David Wilkerson Ministries has
faced increasing criticism...

...from many sources, many of whom voice concern that the threats of upcoming disasters have led many of Wilkerson's followers to take preemptive action that they later regretted. His most serious utterances are reserved for the dire state of the Church, in particular, the church in Western nations. He predicts that the Church in Asia and Africa will flourish greatly, but under severe, if not dire circumstances.

Other material that he has written is very critical of the so called Faith movement in which he identifies many doctrinal errors, some serious enough to place the practitioners in a very serious position with God. He identifies many of the problems that genuine Christians have as a direct result of exposure to these types of movement.

The Vision was published as a book but is now out of print. Among the nearly forty books Pastor Wilkerson has written, several of the recent titles have had a prophetic message: Set the Trumpet to Thy Mouth, America's Last Call and God's Plan to Protect His People in the Coming Depression.

On April 28 2011, Wilkerson, 79, crashed his car

into an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer rig on US Highway 175, outside of Cuney, about 95 miles southwest of Dallas. The Department of Public Safety said the accident happened around 1 p.m.

The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, was declared dead at the scene. By late Wednesday night, hospital officials said 70-year-old Gwendolyn Wilkerson, who was wearing a seatbelt, was in fair condition with cuts and bruises. The driver of the 18-wheeler, Frederick Braggs, 38, suffered lacerations from his rig driving off the bridge and into a riverbed. He was also taken to the hospital.

David Wilkerson Ministries, Times Square Church, confirmed that a memorial service would be held in New York City on May 14 at 2 p.m. ET to give members of the church and the public the chance to pay their respects.

The service was streamed live worldwide via the church's website.

(all links open in a separate window)

794460: The Cross and the Switchblade, 45th Anniversary Edition The Cross and the Switchblade, 45th Anniversary Edition
By David Wilkerson with John & Elizabeth Sherrill / Chosen
David Wilkerson had his life all planned out: a quiet pastorate in a small country church. But God had others plans, calling him to share the good news of Christ with violent gang members in New York City. Forty-five years later that young pastor still oversees Teen Challenge, the ministry that grew out of that calling. His story is a testimony to what can happen when ordinary people open themselves up to the work of an extraordinary God. Foreword by Chuck Colson.

0707891: The Jesus Person Pocket Promise Book, Gift Edition The Jesus Person Pocket Promise Book, Gift Edition
By David Wilkerson, comp. / Gospel Light
"When you gave your heart to Christ, you inherited a great wealth - all the hundreds of promises God gave to you in His Word. These promises rightfully belong to you as a child of God. You must claim them, believe them and act upon them."
-from the Introduction

In this handy volume, more than 800 Bible promises are arranged by topic and need. Learn what God's Word has promised for your spiritual and personal needs as well as for the future when Jesus returns!

93421: Knowing God by Name: Names of God That Bring Hope and Healing Knowing God by Name: Names of God That Bring Hope and Healing
By David Wilkerson / Baker
Each of God's names reveals a defining quality about the Lord's nature and character. In Scripture he revealed these names to his people only as they needed them. In Knowing God by Name, David Wilkerson explores ten of the Hebrew names for God that most relate to times of testing and crisis, including El Elyon, El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Nissi, and Jehovah Shalom.

This book is for any believer who wants to get to know God better, and particularly for those who need hope, encouragement, and a special word from God in a difficult time. It will give them a heart knowledge of God, a revelation of his names on a personal level, and a personal application of their fullest meaning--not for mere theological knowledge, but for everyday assurance and growth.

84812: Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately? Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately?
By David Wilkerson Ministries / Baker
In Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately? David Wilkerson takes a close look at the universal problem of discouragement. He examines the inner wounds that afflict even the most secure Christians and provides reassuring measures to overcome their problems. Learn how to let God heal your wounds, restore your faith, and give you genuine, lasting peace.

92009: Hungry for More of Jesus Hungry for More of Jesus
By David Wilkerson Ministries / Baker
Hungry for More of Jesus issues a Passionate call to a deeper walk of daily discipleship. It reminds us that Jesus wants to give the abundant life we long for; He wants to satisfy the hunger. But first we must seek to know God's heart and cry out against the sins that break it. This is a book of hope and inspiration, while at the same time an honest look at the cost of hungering for Jesus.

755312: La Vision: A Terrifying Prophecy of Doomsday That is Starting to Happen Now! Spanish Edition La Vision: A Terrifying Prophecy of Doomsday That is Starting to Happen Now! Spanish Edition
By David Wilkerson Ministries / Vida

445354: The Cross and the Switchblade Unabridged Audiobook on CD The Cross and the Switchblade Unabridged Audiobook on CD
By David Wilkerson, John Sherrill & Elizabeth Sherrill / Hovel Audio
Led by incredible faith, David Wilkerson made a seemingly bizarre step from his country pulpit in 1958 to the streets of New York City. The Cross and the Switchblade is the amazing true story of how, prompted by the Holy Spirit, he began an out-reach to teenagers ensnared by drugs and violent gangs. The inspiring book has sold more than 16 million copies and has been translated into 35 languages. 6 CDs. Narrated by Paul Michael. Unabridged.

795351: God Is Faithful: A Daily Invitation into the Father Heart of God God Is Faithful: A Daily Invitation into the Father Heart of God
By David Wilkerson Ministries / Chosen

9705228: Cruz y el Pumal Cruz y el Pumal
By David Wilkerson Ministries / Vida
David Wilkerson masterfully narrates the true and moving account of his mission among those lost in the world of drugs, crime, and the most horrible sin. Wilkerson spent many hours in New York City, talk of rebirth and rehabilitation to hardened gang members.

Once you start reading The Cross and the Switchblade you won't be able to put it down again. You will live, together with its characters moments of fear, anxiety, pain, and emotion that will bring you from tragedy to joy and back again, from tears to hope, reading about the true and amazing things that took place in this ministry.

9719679: Tenemos Hambre de Jesús          (Hungry For Christ) Tenemos Hambre de Jes (Hungry For Christ)
By David Wilkerson Ministries / Vida
This stirring book is for those who know Christ and are hungry to know Him better...and it is for others who want to know Him as they never have.

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