World Famous Evangelist Killed in Car Accident Near Lufkin
Evangelist David Wilkerson, who wrote the best selling book "The Cross and the Switchblade" and founded New York's Times Square Church, died in a car accident in east Texas Wednesday, April 27th.
Wilkerson, who was 79, was killed when his car slammed into a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 175 in Cherokee County northwest of Lufkin. Wilkerson's wife Gwen was also injured but is expected to recover.
Wilkerson was an Assemblies of God pastor in rural Pennsylvania before starting his New York ministries, including the famous nondenominational Times Square Church that meets in a converted Broadway theater
Wilkerson was best known for his outreach to street gangs, which he started after seeing a photo in Life magazine of a New York City teenager charged with murder.
Even though Wilkerson moved to Lindale only a year ago, his ministry has been busy in east Texas for more than 30 years. Over those years, his Youth With A Mission has trained thousands of people for worldwide ministry from the Lindale property.
In addition, Last Days Ministries, Agape Force, Second Chapter of Acts, Dallas Holm and Praise, Mercy Ships, Winkie Pratney, Resonate News, Youth With A Mission: Woodcrest and Community Christian Fellowship have all been directly or indirectly influenced by Wilkerson's life.
Wilkerson's book about his life and ministry to street people and young gangs, "The Cross and the Switchblade", was made into a movie in 1970, with Pat Boone portraying Wilkerson.