Early years[ edit ] David Wilkerson was born in in Indiana. He was the second son of a family of Pentecostal Christian preachers, and he was raised in Barnesboro , Pennsylvania , in a house "full of Bibles ". His paternal grandfather and his father, Kenneth, were ministers. The school was affiliated with the Assemblies of God. In he was ordained as a minister. He served as a pastor in small churches in Scottdale and Philipsburg in Pennsylvania , until he saw a photograph in Life Magazine in early of seven teenagers who were members of gangs in New York known as "Egyptian Kings" and the "Dragons" which had merged into a single gang called the "Egyptian Dragons".
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He was 79 and lived near Tyler, Tex. His wife, Gwendolyn, was seriously injured but is expected to recover, Mr. Donald Wilkerson, said on Thursday. David Wilkerson was known to a broad readership through his many books. Written with John and Elizabeth Sherrill, the book has sold tens of millions of copies and has been translated into more than 30 languages, according to its current publisher, Chosen Books. It starred Pat Boone as Mr. Wilkerson and Erik Estrada, in his first film appearance, as a member of his flock.
Wilkerson was also widely known for his work with teenage drug addicts. He was the founder of what is now Teen Challenge International , begun in Brooklyn in The organization comprises about religion-based residential drug treatment centers throughout the country and many overseas.
Through World Challenge , the umbrella organization for his ministerial activities, based in Lindale, Tex. Wilkerson founded the Times Square Church in Originally in Town Hall on West 43rd Street, it now occupies the former Mark Hellinger Theater , an ornate palace of lavish moldings and draperies at West 51st Street, near Broadway.
The Times Square Church is a nondenominational Protestant church whose worship style draws on the Pentecostal tradition. Services typically include gospel singing and the opportunity for congregants to approach the stage for healing and salvation.
Today, the congregation of more than 5, spans the social spectrum, including drug addicts, homeless people and well-heeled professionals. The church also attracts many out-of-town visitors. Wilkerson was its senior pastor before retiring and moving to Texas about a year ago. Image Rev. David WilkersonCredit After his ordination in , Mr. Wilkerson took a pulpit in Philipsburg, in central Pennsylvania. In , he read in Life magazine about a group of teenagers, members of the Egyptian Dragons gang, then on trial in New York for murder.
As he later said in interviews, the article impelled him to go to New York to help the gang members. There he entered the courtroom and, with the trial in progress, asked the judge for permission to speak with the defendants about their salvation. The judge ejected him.
Not long afterward, Mr. Wilkerson settled in New York and began working with young addicts and juvenile delinquents in Brooklyn, assisted by his brother Donald. In the mids, Mr. Wilkerson told The New York Times in Things had reached such a low. I felt something had to be done. In later years, Mr. Wilkerson became known for his often dire public predictions on subjects including the stock market and race relations.
It is going to be so frightening, we are all going to tremble — even the godliest among us.
David Wilkerson: The Cross, the Switchblade, and the Man Who Believed
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He was 79 and lived near Tyler, Tex. His wife, Gwendolyn, was seriously injured but is expected to recover, Mr. Donald Wilkerson, said on Thursday. David Wilkerson was known to a broad readership through his many books. Written with John and Elizabeth Sherrill, the book has sold tens of millions of copies and has been translated into more than 30 languages, according to its current publisher, Chosen Books. It starred Pat Boone as Mr.