Long-time Assemblies of God minister David Wilkerson recently resigned from that denomination in order to form what he calls a “transdenominational church” in the heart of Manhattan. Wilkerson, founder and president of Teen Challenge and author of The Cross and the Switchblade, organized the Times Square Church and is holding services in the Nederlander Theater on 7th Avenue and 41st Street.

“We are ordaining young men who have come through the drug culture and would not be eligible for ordination in the Assemblies of God denomination,” said Wilkerson. “Many of these men do not have the formal education required. Also, they prefer to be ordained by the Times Square Church rather than the Assemblies of God.”

Assemblies of God leaders expressed regret over Wilkerson’s resignation, pointing to his long-standing good relationship with the denomination. “There is no conflict between Dave and us,” said Joseph Flowers, general secretary of the Springfield, Missouri-based denomination. “Yet from our standpoint, his leaving is not desirable. I feel it would be better for him to be accountable to a larger body.”

Wilkerson disagrees with those who feel he may be removing himself from being held accountable. “I have no doctrinal differences with the denomination, but feel it would be better for me to start this church independent of any denomination.”

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