Author David Wilkerson, known for his megabestseller The Cross and the Switchblade (Chosen Books/Baker Publishing Group), died in a severe car crash in East Texas on April 27. His wife, Gwendolyn Wilkerson, was injured and airlifted to a local hospital.
Christianity Today ranked The Cross and the Switchblade as #32 on its list of "Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals."
David Wilkerson authored more than 30 books, including Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately?, Knowing God by Name, and Hungry for More of Jesus. The Cross and the Switchblade, released by Chosen for its 45th anniversary in 2008, was adapted into a movie with Pat Boone in 1970.
Jane Campbell, longtime editorial director of Chosen Books, said, "What a privilege to work with someone who lived his life completely devoted to the Lord. David’s ministry and books changed lives all over the world."
Wilkerson is also the founder of Teen Challenge, an evangelical Christian recovery program that teaches biblical principles to help young adults struggling with addictions, including drug and alcohol problems. The nonprofit has 233 locations in the United States and 1,181 centers worldwide, helping as many as 25,000 people struggling with addiction.
The Wilkerson family wrote a message on the website of World Challenge Inc. ministries, which Wilkerson also founded, saying: “We appreciate your prayers and our hearts are sorrowful, yet we rejoice at the joy of knowing David Wilkerson spent his life well."
David Wilkerson is survived by his wife and four children. Times Square Church, which he founded and where he has served as senior pastor, plans to hold a memorial service for Wilkerson.
Funeral Services for David Wilkerson in Texas
Flowers + Gifts
Memorial Services for David Wilkerson in New York
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