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Gwen Wilkerson, Wife of Teen Challenge Founder, Passes Away

Gwen WilkersonGwen Wilkerson, wife of the late founder of Teen Challenge, David Wilkerson, died last week at the age of 81.

Wilkerson’s children reported last week in a joint announcement that their mother “went to be with Christ with great peace and even anticipation” when she died on the morning of July 5. 

“She had an amazing resolve and unshakeable faith, exemplified throughout her life in her numerous battles with cancer,” shared Debbie, Bonnie, Greg and Gary Wilkerson.  

“Ever since [our father, David Wilkerson, passed away], Mom has longed to go to be with Christ in heaven,” they added. “We are comforted knowing she has entered her reward.”

David Wilkerson, Gwen’s husband of 58 years, passed away in April 2011 following a car accident. David Wilkerson founded Teen Challenge to provide youth, adults, and families with an effective and comprehensive Christian faith-based solution to life-controlling drug and alcohol problems in order to become productive members of society.  Wilkerson also founded World Challenge, which supports a myriad of missionaries and outreaches throughout the world.

“Our love and prayers are with the Wilkerson Family today upon the passing of Gwen Wilkerson,” noted the Rev. Snow Peabody, Teen Challenge USA’s National Representative to Washington, D.C.

“Brother Dave Wilkerson and Gwen both gave all of us in the Teen Challenge Family a great heritage of faith in Jesus,” he added.

Over 30 years ago, Gwen Wilkerson wrote a book titled In His Strength, in which she honestly and unpretentiously shared the story of God's enduring power in her life. In 2001, she published an expanded book, Abiding In His Strength, in which she continued her story.  Three years later, she published The Cross and the Scalpel: The Untold Story, chronicling her struggles with depression, the ravages of cancer, and marital strife.  In the book, Gwen offers hope to those confronting a difficult passage in life.