50th Anniversary



50 Years

of Ministry and Passion for Christ



World Challenge

A 50th anniversary is often called the golden anniversary. It’s a befitting milestone for World Challenge which was founded on a life-long passion to reach the lost and help the suffering.

In these 50 years, David Wilkerson and Gary Wilkerson have gone to hundreds of conferences and evangelistic rallies, sent out over 700 newsletters and touched millions of lives. Everything that World Challenge has done over the decades has been in response to Christ’s call to preach the gospel and demonstrate God’s love to those in need.

Gary Wilkerson and some of our most faithful fellow-workers in ministry have shared their experiences working for the kingdom, and we want to encourage you with their stories.

If God has touched your life through World Challenge, share it with us. We believe there is great power in recounting our Father’s mighty deeds, mercy and goodness.

Join us in celebrating all that God has done!


Latest Videos

Who was David Wilkerson?

David Wilkerson was a pastor, an evangelist, a leader. But ultimately, he was someone who was impressed with no one else but God and dedicated his life to seeking him. Out of this pursuit, he was given a voice that impacted millions, rising to the challenge of his generation. As we celebrate 50 years of ministry, we start by looking back at our Founder. Join us weekly to celebrate all that God has done throughout these 50 years.

Dallas Holm: David Wilkerson's Personal Impact

Dallas Holm, former worship leader for David Wilkerson outreach, shares the impact Wilkerson had on his life. He recounts Wilkerson modeling how to find and stay in God’s will no matter the opportunity or hindrance. It was this singular focus that he believes kept Wilkerson from many of the pitfalls of ministry.

Gary Wilkerson: Receiving the Mantle of Leadership

Gary Wilkerson — pastor, author and son of David Wilkerson — shares how his father passed the mantle of World Challenge’s leadership over to him. He discusses how his father mentored him through the early years of being the ministry’s president and what a difference this made for his path as a leader.

Transformation Through the Gospel in Uganda

Keith and Maureen Holloway tell the story of how community health evangelism transformed a village in Uganda through the lives of two very special women. God’s ability to heal and restore his people is always a blessing to witness. We are grateful to all of you who have made this ministry possible with your support!

Reflections on The Cross & the Switchblade: Pain, Prayer and Sacrifice

Although The Cross & the Switchblade impacted the lives of millions, Gary Wilkerson notes that his father rarely talked about those days on the streets of New York City. The book and film captured snapshots of David’s life, but both skimmed over the true hardship and loneliness that came with following a radical call of Christ. Here Gary shares a few personal memories of the man behind the story.

Redemption on the Streets of Detroit

Kelly Wilkerson shares the story of one of thousands transformed through evangelistic outreaches that she and Gary have worked in throughout the years. World Challenge conferences always seek partnership with local churches who can disciple and walk alongside new believers, and this can make all the difference for someone who is venturing forth into a new life in Christ.

The Jesus Movement

Dallas Holm, who worked alongside David Wilkerson in his outreaches, unpacks how the Jesus Movement intersected with Wilkerson's evangelical efforts during the 60s and 70s. While some churches struggled to accept these young people who didn't match their ideas of what 'good Christians' should look like, other churches grasped what the Holy Spirit was doing and thrived.

The Church Prepared for 9/11

The devastation of 9/11 shook New York City in a way that not much else could. Maureen Holloway, the missions development manager at World Challenge, tells about her experience at Times Square Church right before the Twin Towers fell and how God used David Wilkerson in preparing the church to help the stunned city.

The Writings of David Wilkerson

While David Wilkerson is best known for The Cross & the Switchblade, he was a prolific writer who produced over 40 books. Gary Wilkerson discusses his father's written legacy as well as his process of preparing to write a book and the differences between his works. Some of his books were written specifically to address the issues of his day while others will continue to have great impact on believers both now and into the future.

A Haven for the Neglected

Gary and Kelly Wilkerson visited Romania only three months after the fall of the country’s dictator. There, they were introduced to a desperate problem. Dozens of babies were being left at hospitals, where overwhelmed staff were unable to care for them. These children’s living situation was unbearable, and Gary and Kelly knew they had to act. This is the story of rescue, redemption and the birth of the Sanctuary Foundation.

The David Wilkerson Youth Crusades

Over the years, David Wilkerson led youth rallies that challenged and transformed thousands of people. Teenagers attending these events often saw profound, immediate change in their lives. Many were ready to accept Christ and leave their old lives behind, then and there. Dallas Holm, Gary Wilkerson and Kelly Wilkerson look back at the impact that David Wilkerson’s youth rallies had on people and communities across the country.

The State of the Church

In an overwhelming consumer environment, the American church has languished. People are rarely dedicated to their Christian community; rather, they want to be catered to and entertained. The answer to society’s problems is, and always has been, Christ. The church must refocus on this truth, and the believers who are on their knees will be the ones who see God move.

The Vision of a Watchman

One of David Wilkerson’s most popular and hotly debated books is The Vision, which talks about the church and nation’s future. Dallas Holm shares his memories of when David was first writing this book and its reception, both positive and negative, with many believers at the time.

Helping Hands for the Roma

The Roma, a group of people who left India to seek homes across Africa and Europe, are often marginalized in the communities where they settled. Mark Buzzetta tells the story of a woman who lost everything that she owned. Thanks to your support, World Challenge has helped her to build a new life.

David Wilkerson in the Middle East

David Wilkerson paid for over a thousand pastors from 13 different Arabic countries to be able to attend a conference in Amman, Jordan. This epitomizes the spirit and vision of World Challenge to bless church leaders and believers around the globe, especially those facing incredible persecution, discouragement and personal trials.

A Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Nicky Cruz shares a story this week of how he learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. For someone not raised in the church, the Spirit's power seemed very strange and difficult to understand. Nicky laughs as he reminisces about his first experience with a manifestation of the Spirit and the questions he asked David Wilkerson.

Pure and Undefiled Religion

Widows, orphans and refugees are some of the most vulnerable people groups in the world. Global Director of Mercy Ministries, Mark Buzzetta, talks about how World Challenge is reaching these people who have been forgotten by their families, neighbors and governments. Our partners offer them food, companionship and the eternal hope of the gospel. More than anything, they want these people to know how much they are loved.

The Leaders of Tomorrow

While he served as the pastor of Times Square Church, David Wilkerson saw what a healthy church could do for a city. That was the inspiration for his first Pastors and Leaders Conference. Now under Gary Wilkerson’s leadership, these conferences invest in Christian leaders and help to build strong churches around the world.

A Light on a Hill

When David Wilkerson walked through the heart of New York City years ago, he was devastated by the hopelessness he saw all around. His first response was to cry out to God, asking that someone would be raised up to minister to the city. As he prayed, he realized that he was that person. Here, Gary Wilkerson looks back on the beginning of Times Square Church.