POSTED: Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 11:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 12:36pm
JACKSONVILLE — (AP) - Rev. David Wilkerson, founding pastor of Times Square Church in New York City and author of the best-selling book, "The Cross and the Switchblade," has died. He was 79.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange says Wilkerson died Wednesday in a car accident in East Texas. Mange says Wilkerson's car smashed head-on into a tractor-trailer rig after veering into another lane.
Wilkerson's World Challenge Inc. ministries confirmed on its website that he "went to be with Jesus."
Wilkerson founded the non-denominational Protestant church in 1987 in an area of Manhattan that was then riddled with X-rated movie houses, strip clubs, prostitution and drugs.
Wilkerson also founded Teen Challenge, which uses a biblically based recovery program for drug addicts.
His wife, Gwendolyn, was injured in the car accident.
DPS Troopers have identified the fatality as Rev. David Wilkerson, author of the1963 best-seller The Cross and the Switchblade.
He was 79 years old.
Officials have confirmed one fatality from the wreck.
Officials tell KETK that the wreck involved an 18-wheeler carrying plywood.
The accident happened on a Neches River Bridge on Highway 175.
No other information is known at this time.
DPS troopers are working a wreck on Highway 175 between Cherokee and Anderson Counties.
Officials are unable to confirm any fatalities or injuries at this time.
KETK will bring you more information as it becomes available.