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Pastor David Wilkerson

About Audio Sermons Video Sermons The Cross And The Switchblade

David Wilkerson (born May 19, 1931 in Hammond, Indiana – April 27, 2011) was American Christian evangelist, most well-known for his book The Cross and the Switchblade. He is also the founder of Times Square Church in New York, an interdenominational church.

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

Wilkerson is well-known for these early years of his ministry to young drug addicts and gang members in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s. He co-authored a book with John and Elizabeth Sherrill 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, who later wrote “Run Baby Run” about his own life. The The Cross and the Switchblade has sold over 50 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. The book was included among the 100 most important Christian books of the 20th century.

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