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David Wilkerson has gone home to his reward

David Patterson, who was David Wilkerson’s crusade director from 1967-1974 and traveled with him throughout the world, has talked abouthis time with Wilkerson, who was killed in an automobile accident on Wednesday afternoon, April 27th.

David Wilkerson, gone to his reward

Wilkerson, 79, died after his car slammed into a tractor-trailer on a highway about 95 miles southeast of Dallas. His wife, Gwen, was also injured but is expected to recover in an East Texas Hospital.

“I first met David Wilkerson in 1964 when he interviewed me to be a summer worker at Teen Challenge in San Francisco,” said Patterson. “Three years later Carol and I were married and living in Denver, working to lay the foundation for what would become Denver Teen Challenge.

“I invited Brother Dave, as we affectionately called him, to come and speak at a public rally; he accepted the invitation and we had a great meeting. While he was with us in Denver, he invited Carol and me to move to New York and work with him in his fledgling crusade ministry and within a few weeks, we were in Massapequa, Long Island, living in a small apartment over the crusade office.

“For the next eight years I served as the Crusade Director of David Wilkerson Youth Crusades and travelled with Brother Dave throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Brazil. It was a powerful time of ministry! The Wilkerson crusades were very, very fruitful and thousands of young people came to faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.


David Patterson, served with David Wilkerson for several years

“This was a powerful time in the church, as the Jesus Movement had developed and the Charismatic Movement was in full swing. David Wilkerson’s ministry was being used mightily in crusades but he also was speaking into the Jesus Movement and Charismatic Movement.

“In addition, his books were among the best sellers in the history of Christendom and the movie of ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’ was released. It was an incredible time to be serving the Lord and ministering alongside a man like David Wilkerson.

He went on to say, “Few men have impacted me as David Wilkerson did. About a week ago the Lord directed my attention to a verse in Acts: ‘For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers… ‘ (13:36). I pondered the verse in order to understand as fully as possible what was being said and also what meaning it had for me. When we took the phone call about David Wilkerson’s death, I quickly understood this verse in a totally different way.”

David Patterson had the following observations about Wilkerson:

• I know few men who have served their generation so obediently, according to the will and purpose of God, as David Wilkerson.
• I know few men as passionate about declaring the whole counsel of God, no matter what the consequences, as David Wilkerson.
• I know few men who by God’s grace built such enduring ministries as David Wilkerson.
• I know few men who have left such a model of integrity and fidelity as David Wilkerson.
• I know few men who were truly men of prayer and students of the Word as David Wilkerson.
• David Wilkerson was a man of God!

Patterson then stated, “Carol and I were blessed to call Brother Dave, Gwen and the family our friends for nearly forty-five years. Brother Dave participated in the dedication of both of our daughters to the Lord as babies. We were blessed to be able to visit with David and Gwen many times throughout the years, both in Texas and New York City.

“I last spoke to Brother Dave early in the year when I was deep in the dark valley of cancer and its treatment. We talked by phone for ten or fifteen minutes and his words were so encouraging to me. He seemed to sense that I was struggling to fully trust, and as we concluded the call I can still hear him say, “You can trust Him, David. You can trust all His promises, all of them.”

“Thank you, Brother Dave, for showing us how to live as men and women of God. You showed us how ‘to serve our own generation by the will of God.’ Your legacy lives on and we have and will continue to be enriched by your example of faithfully serving. Thank you!”

David Patterson can be contacted by e-mail at:

Note: ANS has just learned that there will be an official memorial service for Pastor David Wilkerson at Times Square Church on Saturday, May 14, 2001 at 2:00PM. (Doors will open at 12:00 PM). Location: 51st Street (between Broadway & Eighth Avenue), Manhattan, New York City. Live Webcast: The service will be streamed live all over the world on the church website ( at 2:00PM EST.

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