His wife Gwen was injured in the wreck and is in the hospital.
CBN reported that Wilkerson was driving east on U.S. 175 in Texas Wednesday when his car "moved into the opposite lane where a tractor trailer was driving westbound." The truck collided with Wilkerson's car head-on, CBN reported.
Wilkerson also was the founder of Teen Challenge, a ministry for drug addicts. His Cross and the Switchblade book was once rated No. 32 on Christianity Today's list of the "Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals."
Southern Baptist leaders used their Twitter accounts to mourn Wilkerson's death and celebrate his ministry. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., pointed users to a popular message by Wilkerson, "Call to Anguish." Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, said Wilkerson's book had a "huge" influence on him as a teen.
Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.
Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net