David Wilkerson dies in car accident
David Wilkerson the Internationally-known author of the Cross and the Switchblade and the founder of Times Square Church NY, has died in a car accident.
adapted from a report by The Christian Post
The Rev. David Wilkerson, the founding pastor of Times Square Church in Church in Manhattan, N.Y., died in a severe car crash in East Texas Wednesday afternoon (27/04/11) . His wife, Gwendolyn Wilkerson, was injured and airlifted to a local hospital.
Wilkerson, 79, crashed his car into a large truck outside of Cuney, about 95 miles southwest of Dallas. The Department of Public Safety said the accident happened around 1.00pm.
The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, was declared dead at the scene.
On the night of the accident, 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 lorry driving off the bridge and into a riverbed. He was also taken to the hospital.
Times Square Church, in a statement, said: “Pastor David Wilkerson’s was a life fully given for the glory of God and souls of men. “He was greatly loved and he will be greatly missed.”
“Our prayers are with the family and we as a church body are committed to standing with them at this time of sorrow.”
Wilkerson founded Times Square Church in 1986 when he walked down 42nd street in New York at midnight and his heart was broken over the prostitutes, pimps, runaways, drug addicts, crooks, and X-rated films he saw.
“I saw 9-, 10- and 11-year-old kids bombed on crack cocaine. I walked down 42nd Street and they were selling crack. Len Bias, the famous basketball player, had just died of a crack overdose, and the pusher was yelling, ‘Hey, I’ve got the stuff that killed Len,’” recalled Wilkerson, according to the Times Square Church website.
“I wept and prayed, ‘God, you’ve got to raise up a testimony in this hellish place … The answer was not what I wanted to hear: ‘Well, you know the city. You’ve been here. You do it.’”
In October 1987, Wilkerson opened Times Square Church in Town Hall. The church was later moved to its present location, the Mark Hellinger Theater.
Besides founding Times Square Church, Wilkerson is also famous for his bestselling book, The Cross and the Switchblade, which tells the true story of his calling to New York City. The book documents his ministering to youths involved in drugs and gangs. The Cross and the Switchblade is ranked No. 32 in Christianity Today’s list of “Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals.” The book was adapted into a movie in 1970 starring Pat Boone.
Wilkerson is also the founder of Teen Challenge, an evangelical Christian recovery program connected to the Assemblies of God denomination that teaches biblical principles to help young adults struggling with addictions, including drug and alcohol problems. The nonprofit organisation has 233 locations in the United States and 1,181 centers in total worldwide, helping as many as 25,000 people struggling with addiction.
The UK Teen Challenge web site states: "David Wilkerson epitomised the power of a life lived in obedience to God. Through this Pastor of a small Church in Pennsylvania God has impacted countless lives throughout the world for over 50 years. His ministry brought hope to millions from every walk of life especially the hopeless, the broken and the addicted."
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 plans to hold a memorial service for Wilkerson on May 14. Further information can be found by <clicking here>.
David Wilkerson's last message on the day he died:
To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Thomas, “You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen” (John 20:29).
Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer—who trust beyond hope when all means have failed.
Someone has come to the place of hopelessness—the end of hope—the end of all means. A loved one is facing death and doctors give no hope. Death seems inevitable. Hope is gone. The miracle prayed for is not happening.
That is when Satan’s hordes come to attack your mind with fear, anger, overwhelming questions: “Where is your God now? You prayed until you had no tears left. You fasted. You stood on promises. You trusted.”
Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind: “Prayer failed.
Faith failed. Don’t quit on God—just do not trust him anymore. It doesn’t pay!”
Even questioning God’s existence will be injected into your mind.
These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the godliest men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks.
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.”
Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love.
When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith.
Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world.
Footnote: Whilst the preacher was known for bringing daily words of encouragement like the above to the body of Christ, in 2009 Wilkerson sent out 'An Urgent Message'. In it he said:
"I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to send out an urgent message to all on our mailing list, and to friends and to bishops we have met all over the world.An earth-shattering calamity is about to happen. it is going to be so frightening, we are all going to tremble - even the Godliest among us.For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago." Read on.....
Further articles on Christians Together about David Wilkerson can be found by typing 'Wilkerson' into the Search box below.
Christianity Today/Christias Together, 28/04/2011