David Wilkerson Dies in Crash

I heard on the news today that David Wilkerson, pastor of Times Square Church, and author of “The Cross and the Switchblade,” was killed in an automobile accident yesterday in Texas.  His wife, Gwen, who was with him at the time, was seriously injured, but is expected to recover from her injuries.  Mr. Wilkerson, however, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Please keep his family in your prayers.

This is from the New York Times blog:

The Rev. David Wilkerson, an influential evangelical minister who wrote a best-selling book, “The Cross and the Switchblade,” about his work with drug-addicted youngsters in Brooklyn, was killed Wednesday in a car accident in eastern Texas.

Mr. Wilkerson, 79, was best known in New York as the founding pastor of Times Square Church, which opened in 1987 and is widely considered the first modern evangelical church in the neighborhood.

The nondenominational church attracts capacity crowds on most Sundays, its 1,500 seats usually filled by a combination of New Yorkers and a steady flow of American and international tourists.

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26 thoughts on “David Wilkerson Dies in Crash

  1. Robert Gant

    Pastor Wilkerson, A true Shepperd, Last Of The Prophets, His Ministry Changed my life, met him in1992, he cared for the Lost Souls, he will be missed

  2. Ruitje

    I was shocked when I heard the news. It is so sad. He was also known in my country. People that have my age all remember the book and the film ‘The cross and the switchblade’. The story had a deep impact.

    David Wilkerson was also a preacher who had the courage to speak out against the prosperity teachers and other ‘wolves’.

  3. Mike A

    He is at home. No doubt about that. We have a local group of Teen Challenge that comes to our church every Sunday morning, about 40 young men. You tell that some are still struggling, still not believing – but the ones that God has changed, you can see a difference. They are hungry for the Word.

  4. ali

    May God raise up men who will stand in the gap left by the passing recently of godly men – Fred Stone, J.R. Church and now Pastor Wilkerson.

  5. Nicole

    this is one time “comments” are really good to see. When we can see and speak what one has done in their life and the GOOD that they do.

    I hope and pray many more will comment. It truly does a heart good to see that some Preachers spoke truth , love, faith in the Lord, and persevered w/ out compromise. And that we focus also on those that really did know the Lord and HIS WORD.

    May his family have the memories of all that he did for so many thousands and though it will at times be a struggle for them, may they rejoice that he is w/ the Lord

    . And may the many that are struggling still, or that happen to come upon his website or articles or sermons, may they find the comfort and the truth and the hope and mercy and ofcoarse may they humble themselves and empty themslelves and repent unto the Lord and ask for forgiveness, as David Wilkerson taught. — What he taught is what the Lord taught.

    Praise the Lord and thank you Father, for your servant.

  6. KC

    Ali: Not familiar with J.R. Church but agree with you on Brother Fred Stone and Pastor Wilkerson. Both men were a year apart in age. Brother Fred went home to be with the Lord in March and now Pastor Wilkerson in April. Both were mighty watchmen/prophets. These mighty giants will be missed greatly. When true generals of the faith pass, I pay special attention to it. Especially the last devotional that Pastor Wikerson put out on Wednesday. I think it is more than just the now, something prophetic – time will tell.


  7. candy

    I was shocked when Fred Stone died then when JR Church died I couldn’t believe it. Now David Wilkerson, Jesus must be so happy to have 3 very special children who spread the word for him come home to him within 60 days of each other. Very honorable men of God and Jesus shows mercy to those who lose a loved one I know personally

  8. stan

    Despite David’s edifying sermons and his watchfulness for the deterioration of biblical standards of truth and righteousness in churches at large, I am dismayed that he continued on a long streak of failed prophecies over the years. I read The Vision back in ’75 when I was first saved and was suitably impressed, alarmed and motivated by it.
    At the end of the book, he comforted the reader by exhorting him to trust in the Lord that “He had it all under control.” However, in the book, there were short-term predictions that failed to come to pass. An internet search will reveal other specific predictions of his in subsequent years uttered here and there or written by him that failed, such as no more Christian TV in America by 1999.

    David predicted in March of 2009 that 1000 fires will erupt in NYC shortly. See the whole prophecy from his weblog here:
    Yet, he had said the same thing over 15 years prior to that in September of 1992 “I have had recurring visions of over 1,000 fires burning at one time here in New York city. I am convinced race riots will soon explode! New York City is right now a powder keg-ready to blow!…federal and State Welfare cutbacks will be the spark that ignites the fuse. Next year, New York City could have over 100,000 angry men on the streets, enraged because they have been cut off from benefits….Federal troops will have to move in to restore order. New York City will have tanks running down its avenues….Churches will be closed for a season because it will be too dangerous to travel about. Fires will rage everywhere.” (Sept. 7, 1992) ? “Next year” – “could have?” What use was that except to wiggle out of being accountable for the message? God does not speak like that. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:8 “For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?” So, how did someone in NYC who heard and believed him feel in 1993? Uncertain – nervous? In 1994, confused, at least. That’s how Paul says they would. And, how do you take the word “shortly” from the March 2009 prophecy? I’ll tell you how David took it: He felt impressed to store up a month’s supply of
    food and recommended the same to the reader! Did anyone who also read
    his advice do that back then?

    David Wilkerson is not special enough to be exempt from examination by biblical standards if he was going to do that. Here is what God says in Deuteronomy 18, ‘But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?” “when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”

    One must conclude that he failed as a prophet and that he assumed that office to himself presumptuously. He needed to admit his error publicly when the Vision’s predictions failed and never to intrude again into that work. He did not do that. He kept it up for over 30 years.
    Deuteronomy 18 says we are not to fear him, that is, to respond to him as Nineveh did to Jonah or the church did to Agabus in Acts 11 when he predicted a empire-wide famine. Nineveh repented and the church all sprang into action to help the Jerusalem saints. Luke was inspired by the Lord, for our protection, no doubt, to record that it happened in the days of Claudius. So, where are the confirming secular sources for the things David has predicted? Nowhere. As a preacher and evangelist, he shines, but he was not a prophet. I do not know what led him to go that far in his ministry, except I am certain his Pentecostalism was certainly largely responsible.

    Because of this, I don’t recommend him to anyone anymore, for fear they will eventually come across his failed predictions and be thrown into confusion.

    Am I alone in this view?


  9. shane

    I would agree with you Stan. No one is above examination and their prophecies above testing.

  10. ian vincent


    “David Wilkerson is not special enough to be exempt from examination by biblical standards …”
    Ya know, the fact is that David. himself, never assumed that he was somehow exempt from examination, or even God’s righteous judgment.

    His death was a judgment, and, from what i know of his character, he would have accepted this judgment from his Father in heaven, from His hand.

    When i heard him preach (on an audio from a few years ago) recently on 1 Cor. 10, he did not imply that this message : Therefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Cor 10:12) , applied to others and not himself.

    To whom much is given, much more is required.

    Yes, it’s a very serious thing to be such a public spokesman for God.


  11. stan

    “David Wilkerson is not special enough to be exempt from examination by biblical standards …” Ya know, the fact is that David. himself, never assumed that he was somehow exempt from examination, or even God’s righteous judgment.

    A couple of thoughts, Ian. If your claim that David did not assume he was exempt from examination is true, why didn’t he examine “The Vision” after enough time had gone by to declare whether his dire short-term predictions had been fulfilled or not? If he did, where are his published retractions? As far as I know no such document exists. Are we not told in Galatians 6:4 ” But let each one examine his own work.” and, 1 Thess. 5:20,21: “Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. ” Further, he certainly knew the scriptures well enough about God’s response to false prophets. It’s beyond me why, if he knew he was not exempt from God’s righteous judgment, he would wait so long not to get out of their way. 1 Corinthians 11 tells us that “if we judge ourselves, we would not be judged by the Lord.” If his death was a judgment, it was tragically needless, given all the time he had allotted to him. This failure from such a bright light among Pentecostals to judge one’s own prophecy means others who look up to him will also fail to do the same. If he had judged himself, it would have modeled a much-needed Fear of the Lord in a very practical way to the churches that hold him in esteem and even to those who were his critics.

    Not only did David fail to examine his own prophecies, Pentecostal church authorities did not do it either, such as the A/G admin in Springfield (even though he left the denomination). The A/G is certainly aware how strong an influence David’s ministry has among their own people. They deserved to hear from them about David’s failed intrusion into the prophetic, even though they wrote a position paper in 2000 against the modern apostles and prophets movement. Maybe some churches here and there did a proper examination on Wilkerson for the sake of their flock. I hope so. For my part, I opened up our weekly Bible study fellowship this past Monday warning everyone of Harold Camping and his false prediction of impending rapture/judgment next Saturday, May 21. I also warned of David Wilkerson’s failed prophetic work, an issue that arose because of the lionization of him now that he has passed.

    Another even more ominous issue to me is that David Wilkerson certainly (either directly or indirectly) profited financially from sales of that book; and no doubt, because of it, became a highly sought-after speaker. To benefit from false prophecies is certainly a cause for judgment. Paul said that he was not like the many who peddle the word of God. I shake my head in sadness over these things I see now that I left the A/G church in 2005 that I was in for over 25 years. When you’ve jumped out of the kettle, you can finally see the fire under it that is still slowly cooking the frogs inside.

    Since Pentecostals make their main boast in supernatural utterances, the attitude they seem to have about them when they are false is cavalier – a shrugging of the shoulders or even worse, promoting offending brethren to prominence who are emboldened to throw out predictions like bombs, let them go off, disturb the faith of some and continue on with more up until they die. Brethren who hold Pentecostals and Charismatics as erring believers have a lot of evidence for their conclusions.

  12. ian vincent

    Hello Stan,

    I like your point re: the “lionization” of Wilkerson, after his death.


    “If your claim that David did not assume he was exempt from examination is true, why didn’t he examine “The Vision” after enough time had gone by to declare whether his dire short-term predictions had been fulfilled or not? ”
    He should have been more serious about examining himself, and his accountability, than he was.

    Most of the predictions in “The Vision” have already been fulfilled, and i can’t think of one prediction there that probably won’t be fulfilled.

    The several failed prophecies came many years after that book. He admitted to one failed prophecy. I think there are two others he didn’t apologize for.

    In general, his sense of impending judgment on America was from God. Most true men and women of God would concur.

    It would not be fair to compare him with someone like Camping.


    From my blog:

    I would be amazed if anyone would NOT think it’s judgment, for a man of God to die in a car wreck.

    When William Branham died in a car wreck, most people, except his followers, acknowledged it was a judgment. His followers couldn’t accept it as a judgment, bcos, in their minds, Branham was so special, flawless, exalted and infallible, that they couldn’t even consider the possibility that he could have been wrong about certain things. They think, that to even consider the possibility, would be to dishonor a great man of God.

    A similar attitude has emerged in the wake of brother Dave’s passing.

    It would be a wrong understanding of the nature of the Father, to believe that He could cause you, or allow you, to drive head-on into a truck, just at any time, for no reason, just at a whim.

    When you get in the car, you don’t believe that your Father could have you die in an accident, at any time, for absolutely no reason.

    But, a disciple should understand that if God had cause to judge them, that He could do it by any means He chooses.

    And i believe that David would have agreed with this.


  13. shane

    A false prophet is a false prophet.
    Deuteronomy 13

    All of the false prophecies is one of the many things that God used to bring me out of the pent/chars movement.

  14. stan

    Most of the predictions in “The Vision” have already been fulfilled, and i can’t think of one prediction there that probably won’t be fulfilled.

    Hello again Ian. I’d like to examine your claim more closely to see if I would agree. Does anyone know where to get this book, The Vision? Amazon has one for $120.00! Too much.

  15. Ruitje

    I think David Wilkerson never called himself a prophet…
    He was not like the charismatic prophets like Kim Clement or Chuck Pierce who are clearly false prophets.


    My name is Federico. I live in a small town named Campofranco, in Sicily, Italy. Wednesday 27 April, we have losted the major spiritual father of mondial Church, but will remain to us his sermons and his written. I’m very sad for brother Wilkerson’s death, a great God’s man. I’m very sad above all for the way of his death: for a stradal accident. I’m don’t believe still that he is really dead. But, also for the way of his death is happened he will be remembered. I believe that own Wednesday afternoon (in Italy), perhaps in the same moment when David Wilkerson died, I reflected on the person that could replace worthily David Wilkerson in the mondial Church. Coincidense? And, also now, I ask myself: will be there other God’s ministries as him in this and, if the Lord don’t will returns before, in the future generations? I says it not only to reference to his deep and special anointing in his sermons and books but also for his sincerity and spiritual opening. I have spent years to read his sermons and books. They have enriched my spiritual life. His sermons and books have revolutionize my life. I don’t know if still will exist preacher as him and with a story as his. He will miss to me and he will miss to all world Church: a God’s man that has left to us in inheritance a spiritual impact and a example like that very strong. (Federico Scifo, Sicily, Italy)

    “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7)

    MY E-MAIL: federico.scifo2004@libero.it

  17. stan

    Ian, I just found out a friend of mine has a copy of the vision. Plus, Amazon does have other copies of it than the one I saw for 120.00, but they still go for 30.00 including shipping.

    Ruitje, I think when a person predicts the future, they are stepping into that office of prophet, whether they call themselves that or not, since predictions are the exclusive domain of prophets when they use God as a source for their predictions. After all, he does call the book The Vision, not My Educated Guesses. I do agree he is not the same sort as these NAR types though because they depart so far from sound doctrine, whereas David was much more biblical.

  18. Rev's Kate & Rich M.

    @ Federico– how wonderful to hear that you are truly seeking God’s will for you life; even more exciting is to see the wonderful people of Italy are seeking His face in these end times, you are a blessing!

    The scripture you presented is so relevant, thankyou for it.

    The supernatural power of the Holy Spirit is evident in the believer and being concerned who will lead us, my friend, I understand– but the Good News is that you Brother Federico possess the imparted Word the same as Brother Dave; you have the special gift to preach the gospel to the lost and become a light to the world– as all His children possess.

    Fear not, for Christ is with you always, even to the end of time–wow! That is a promise no one can take away from you– us.

    Peace and God’s greatest blessings to you!

  19. ian vincent

    On the matter of a true man of God losing his life in judgment. Many cannot accept such a possibility. They say that once someone is justified by Jesus’ blood then such a thing could never happen.

    Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. **For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep [died]**. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
    (1Cor 11:27-32)

    These were justified saints who died prematurely due to their sin. They didn’t lose salvation.

    I’m not looking for sin in David Wilkerson, or for the reason he was judged in this way, but it would be sad if believers thought that such “accidents” can happen at anytime to anyone, at random, for no cause.

    God does not choose to take his saints home by causing them to drive head-on into a truck and die so horribly.

    Martyrdom is another subject altogether.


  20. David

    Sad to see the way David died but what shouldn’t be ignored as Stan and others wrote–he was a false prophet and was so for decades –unfortunately–other blogs and sites that claim to be zealous for the truth have chosen to ignore this fact. Below is a link to a list of a few of his false prophecies.I was initially a follower of his ministry but soon departed after the publication of his book in the 70’s called The Vision which was filled with false prophecies..

  21. Motherspirit1

    @Stan. Occupy Wall Street is currently underway with the threat of martial law. Wilkerson’s prophecy is not too far-fetched now.

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