The Word On The Street
Fifty years ago, a young naïve pastor from rural Ohio, David Wilkerson, wrote a book about his experiences working with gang members in New York City, the book called The Cross And The Switchblade has been read by an estimated 50 million people and printed in 30 countries. Quite simply it is one of the most influential books for Christians ever written.
In The Word On The Street, the Reverend Richard Coles investigates how the book has become such a phenomenon, helping criminals and drug addicts leave their destructive lives and turn to religion.
He travels to Salford in Northern England to the Victory Outreach Church to meet Pastor Paul Lloyd, he told Richard about how he left his life of drug taking and dealing after reading Wilkerson's book and he hears from the DR Congo where Amethyst Roth, whose father was saved from his addiction by Wilkerson, uses The Cross And The Switchblade in her preaching work now.
David Wilkerson died in a car crash last year but Heart and Soul has spoken to his son, Gary. Now a pastor himself in Colorado Springs. He tells the programme about how his father never envisaged the huge impact his book would have around the world.