David Wilkerson was a key in Mercy Ships relocation to Texas. We began in 1979 in Lausanne, Switzerland and then in 1982 we opened our first US office in San Pedro, California.
David Wilkerson let us know that part of his property in Garden Valley, Texas was for sale and we moved 1,500 miles inland. At what is now the Mercy Ships International Operations Center in East Texas, Brother David, as he liked to be called, gave the dedicatory sermon from the life of the prophet Elisha The Lost Axe Head-the place where iron floats (2 Kings 6:1-7).
Mercy Ships is one of two organizations that literally float iron. David Wilkerson was truly a prophet to the 20th and 21st centuries. His first book, The Cross and the Switchblade was seminal in inspiring me, as well as many others, to trust God for great things.
Ten years earlier, David Wilkerson had sold his 400 acre ranch to Leland Paris, Director of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) for the Americas and now Mercy Ships and YWAM Tyler are neighbors.
Teen Mania, another near neighbor ministry, now owns the property developed by musician Keith Green’s ‘Last Days Ministries’. Christian recording artist Dallas Holmes and 2nd Chapter of Acts were also influenced by Wilkerson to this area
David Wilkerson was the magnet that drew several Christian organizations to Garden Valley, Texas.
Don Stephens is the president and founder of Mercy Ships.