Private burial for Teen Challenge founder David Wilkerson

Rev David Wilkerson, 79, was killed last Wednesday in a head-on collision with a truck in Tyler, Texas. His wife was badly injured in the crash but is expected to make a full recovery.

Family and close friends came together for the funeral at Rose Heights Church of God, in Tyler. Among the mourners were evangelist Nicky Cruz and senior pastor of Times Square Church, Carter Conlon.

A public memorial service is due to be held later in the month at Times Square Church in New York City.

The May 14 service will be streamed live from the church via its website and translation will be made available in 10 different languages via conference call.

Conlon told the church’s congregation on Sunday: “It’s our time to mourn and celebrate the life of our beloved founding pastor, David Wilkerson.

“By May 14, cameras and the eyes of the world will be on this church. People will be coming from all over the world.”

He paid tribute to Wilkerson as a man who allowed Jesus Christ to use his life.

“[He] brought glory to the name of Christ and touched our lives and led us in a way that we should go,” he said.

“One of the hallmarks of Brother Dave’s life and ministry is that people were radically transformed by the power of almighty God. Many went on into ministry and became great soul winners.”

Tributes have come in from other Christians since the accident last Wednesday.

Rick Wilkerson Jr, a relative, said the pastor was a “true hero” and “a man of conviction”.

Joel Houston, son of Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston, said Wilkerson’s bestselling book, The Cross and the Switchblade, had “seeded NYC in my heart” as a place for ministry. Joel Houston recently moved to New York to help plant Hillsong’s first church in the US.

He wrote on Twitter: “So grateful for the life and legacy of David Wilkerson.”