Today in a Church culture that has become weak and more concerned with growing it’s corporate numbers and entertainment.  We offer this vintage movie about the early years of Pastor David Wilkerson who went into the heart of a sin sick city and reached out with the love of God.  He did not dance around the sin issue, but met these troubled kids at the heart of life’s issues.  We need this courageous faith again.  This true account of gang members in New York City will encourage your witness for Christ Jesus.  The gospel message and sin has had the same effect on people since the Church began.  This scripture comes to mind as I think about the faith of David Wilkerson.

The Cross & The Switchblade

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:  Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.  Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  2 Timothy 1:8-13

Keep this scripture in mind as you watch.  Today doctrine is out and Political Correctness is in, the gospel is so watered down and the Holy Spirit quenched.  Our confidence is to walk in the counsel of God and not of men.  Be blessed.

The Cross And The Switchblade

The Cross and the Switchblade is a book written in 1963 by pastor David Wilkerson with John and Elizabeth Sherrill. It tells the true story of Wilkerson’s first five years in New York City, where he ministered to disillusioned youth, encouraging them to turn away from the drugs and gang violence they were involved with. The book became a best seller, with more than 15 million copies distributed in over 30 languages.

In 1972, the book was adapted into a comic book published by Fawcett Comics under their Spire Christian Comics label.In 1970, a film adaptation was released, starring Pat Boone as David Wilkerson and Erik Estrada (in his screen debut) as Nicky Cruz, the teen gang member whose life was transformed by Wilkerson’s ministry. The film has been viewed by an estimated 50 million people in over 30 languages in 150 countries, according to World Film Crusade.[1]

In 1968, Cruz wrote the book Run Baby Run with Jamie Buckingham, telling the story of his life including coming to New York and being in the gang, and subsequently meeting Wilkerson and thereafter becoming an Evangelical Christian.

Fifty years ago, when a lanky country preacher stepped onto the gang-ridden streets of New York City, most people thought he had gone over the edge. But David Wilkerson had faith that God was leading him and never looked back. Today his inner-city ministry, Teen Challenge, boasts residential and crisis counseling centers in more than seventy countries. Its Christian discipleship program has restored hope to tens of thousands of men and women with drug or alcohol addiction. In this 45th anniversary edition of The Cross and the Switchblade, readers will experience anew the dramatic story that started it all.

David Wilkerson (1931-2011) was the founder of Teen Challenge and World Challenge and longtime senior pastor of Times Square Church. He authored more than thirty books, including the bestselling The Cross and the Switchblade and Knowing God by Name. He ministered to people worldwide, and on the day of his death, he was still ministering.

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