The Cross and the Switchblade

The Cross and the Switchblade is a biographical book written by the Rev. David Wilkerson with John and Elizabeth Sherrill, published by Bernard Geis Associates in 1963.

The Cross and the Switchblade
AuthorDavid Wilkerson
John and Elizabeth Sherrill
CountryUnited States
GenreBiography, Crime, Christianity
PublisherBernard Geis Associates
Publication date
January 1, 1963
Media typePrint
LC ClassBV4464.5 .W5 1963


In 1958, Pentecostal pastor David Wilkerson of Assemblies of God is touched by an article in Life about seven teenagers who are members of a criminal gang.[1] Alone and with little money, he goes to Brooklyn, sometimes at the risk of his life, to talk about Jesus with members of street gangs.[2] There, WilkersonNicky Cruz a member of the "Mau Maus" street gang.


The book became a bestseller, with more than 15 million copies distributed in over 30 languages. [3]


In 1970, a film adaptation was released, starring Pat Boone as David Wilkerson and Erik Estrada (in his screen debut) as Nicky Cruz, the teen gang member whose life was transformed by Wilkerson's ministry. [4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Randall Herbert Balmer, Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism: Revised and expanded edition, Baylor University Press, USA, 2004, p. 744
  2. ^ Allan Anderson, An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity, Cambridge University Press, UK, 2013, p. 163
  3. ^ Robert Crosby, Remembering David Wilkerson,, USA, April 29, 2011
  4. ^ Geoff King, Claire Molloy, Yannis Tzioumakis, American Independent Cinema: Indie, Indiewood and Beyond, Routledge, USA, 2013, p. 188

External linksEdit