025 The Nicky Cruz Interview [Podcast]

If you struggle to believe that a friend, colleague or loved one seemingly on the road to destruction can turn and change, Nicky Cruz’s story will give you a fresh infusion of hope. Reared in an abusive home, Cruz escaped to the streets, joined Brooklyn’s infamous Mau-Maus gang and rose to become one of New York’s most feared gang leaders. When a bespectacled country pastor named David Wilkerson arrived in town, Cruz was unimpressed. Wilkerson was beaten, spat on and humiliated but was able to utter three words that would forever change Nicky’s life.

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In the Interview

Q: How have you been touched by Nicky’s famous story? Tell me now

Cruz’s story has been told in three well-known books: David Wilkerson’s The Cross and the Switchblade and Nicky’s own books Run Baby Run and Soul Obsession. It’s even had a run as a Broadway musical. In this Open House interview you’ll hear Nicky share the story again, including:

  • His abusive family and his escape to the streets
  • Joining Brooklyn’s infamous Mau Mau gang and rising to become one of New York’s most feared gang leaders
  • The day a scared, young David Wilkerson walked into his life, and the abuse Nicky and his gang threw at him
  • The single sentence David spoke that changed Nicky forever

As I’ve said in the introductory paragraphs of Nicky’s chapter in Open House Volume 2, there wasn’t a dry eye between us at the end of this interview. It’s a fitting way to remember David Wilkerson also – a man who risked his very life to follow the call of God and love the most ‘unloveable’.

Episode Resources

You may find the following links and resources helpful:


  1. BookDepository has a brilliant deal on my book Resurrection Year including free postage worldwide. Wouldn’t it make a great Christmas gift for someone in need of a new start? 🙂

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Q: Have you read The Cross and the Switchblade, or Nicky Cruz’s book Run Baby Run? How have you been touched by his story? Tell me now

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