A TRIBUTE TO DAVID WILKERSON
came as a shock when I learned that Pastor David Wilkerson had been killed in a
car crash on April 27, 2011. It is a great loss for the Christian churches
around the world as he was a great pastor and author of many books but he has
been a true prophet to the Body of Christ in a time when most prominent
ministers have fallen into doctrinal error or a sinful lifestyle.
I have much to be thankful for to this man since he had a great impact on my
life. It started when I read the book, “The Cross and the Switchblade.” As a
pastor I have sent needy people to Teen Challenge where they were given help to
recover from drug and alcohol addictions. I was always thankful that God used
Pastor Wilkerson to create such a needed organization in a world filled with
drugs and violence.
I was at a low point in my life in 1986 because I had been pastoring a church in
the Sacramento area since my wife and I founded it ten years earlier and group
of people had caused a church split that left me no other option than to resign.
I had gone back to work as an evangelist and Bible teacher, and in November
1986, a couple from one of our Bible study groups invited us to Palm Springs to
attend a pastors’ conference with David Wilkerson. The couple paid all our
expenses and when we arrived at the hotel in Palm Springs, we found out that not
only was Pastor Wilkerson there, but so was his brother Don and Pastor Carter
Conlon. These three men did some outstanding teaching but it was in the personal
ministry that my wife and I came to appreciate Pastor David. He spent time with
us, encouraged, counseled and prayed for us. God used him to heal our broken
hearts and give us new hope for the future.
From that time I have read his monthly newsletters that are uplifting and build
faith. I know that I am just one of hundreds of thousands of people who have
been blessed by Pastor David but to me he became a friend that gave me a hand
when I needed it. I started to send him our magazine, The Dove, and every time
we got a letter from his secretary who thanked and told us that he had read it.
I want to thank God for raising up David Wilkerson and giving us a prophet for
so many years. Now he has joined the ranks of the other saints in heaven, and I
am sure that after he has spent some time with Jesus, he is going to visit with
the apostles to find out what they thought about his ministry on earth. God gave
him 79 years and now he has entered the next phase of eternity with God forever.
In the meantime, we have work to do so that when our time comes we can say,
“I am ready, I have finished the course, I am ready to go home and be with
From the Desk
of John S. Torell