Monday, May 2, 2011


NOTE: Just to clarify a story in the news, it was Rev. David Wilkerson (described below) who died this past week, not Rev. David Wilkinson (a United Methodist and founder of this SOUND BITES Ministry).

Evangelist David Wilkerson, who wrote the popular book "The Cross and the Switchblade" and founded New York's Times Square Church, died in a traffic accident Wednesday (April 27, 2011). Wilkerson, 79, died after his car slammed into a tractor-trailer on a highway about 95 miles southeast of Dallas, according to The Associated Press. His wife, Gwen, was also injured but is expected to recover.

Wilkerson was known most for his outreach to street gangs, which he started after viewing a photo in Life magazine of New York City teens charged with murder. He founded Teen Challenge, a ministry to young gang members and drug addicts, in New York in 1959. In 1963, he co-authored his best-selling story, which Christianity Today magazine listed in 2006 in the No. 32 spot on its "Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals."

Wilkerson posted a blog the day of his death. The post was called "When All Means Fail."


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." 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.

-- Rev. David Wilkerson



  1. Thank you for posting the announcement of the death of Rev. David Wilkerson ... when I was on a Volunteer in Mission trip in 1983 in Atlixco, Mexico, our team (from the Memphis Conference) went to hear him preach one night at the Pentecostal Church there. We were making repairs to a small Methodist Church damaged by earthquake a few years earlier - it was just around the corner. We were privileged to attend that service and spend some time talking with Rev. Wilkerson afterwards.

    Thanks for your continuing Sound Bites Ministry, I read every one and think of how wonderful you found a way to remember your son that blesses so many people. God bless you!

    Betty Stallins, Mayfield, KY

  2. One of Rev. David's most famous convert was Nicky Cruz. He came to Green Bay at 1979. Some of those that attended started a Bible study. Eventually I attended the Bible study which is where I met my wife.

    Bill Woods

  3. This was quite something for him to write the day of his death. I remember reading the book and seeing the movie of The Cross and the Switchblade. Good book.

    ~ N. Ibarra, Kansas

  4. Thank you. I continue to enjoy Sound Bites. Bette McAnulty

  5. How timely his message was, and is. God is amazing in providing the message that He wants to be heard.

    I was amused by the clarification. I had to respond in a similar way.

    David W. Wilkinson,
    MDiv, Chaplain


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