Whether or not you are into organized religion, you can't deny the impact that it and some of its leaders have had on communities and/or culture. David Wilkerson was one of those people.
He was one of those guys that acted on the more compassionate attributes of Christianity rather than the really judgie ones (I know that's not technically a word, but it hits the tone I was looking for ;)
And if you grew up in a really Christian home (as I did) and you were the sort of kid that caused trouble and worried your parents (as I certainly did to my mom) then you were probably handed a copy of his 1963 book called 'The Cross and the Switchblade', a piece of writing that explored the early days in his career, in which he created a faith-based program to help young drug addicts kick the habit. He worked with junkies and gang members at a time when many weren't. His 'Teen Challenge' program now branches across the globe.
He also founded the Time Square Church, which is now a non-denominational megachurch with 8,000 members. Wilkerson even made the Time 100 list of most influential people on the planet.
And again, as much as a lot of the churchie stuff offends many (and to a degree, myself included), David and his team worked really hard to help a lot of abandoned people stuck in the throes of addiction... and for that he should be remembered.
Wilkerson died in a car collision in Texas yesterday. RIP, Reverend.
PS - I still love Richard Dawkins.