Who is Nicky Cruz?
Nicky Cruz is the best-selling author of eighteen books, including the all-time Christian classic, Run, Baby, Run, published in 1968 and translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. It continues to be a top-10 best seller in the United Kingdom, and is required reading in many high school curricula in the UK, Finland, Australia and New Zealand. A full-length Hollywood feature film based on Nicky’s life called A Thousand Pieces was released in 2013.
Cruz was raised in Puerto Rico. His parents were heavily involved in Santeria, and as such, Nicky was the victim of repeated physical abuse and rejection at their hands. In an attempt to escape his violent upbringing, Nicky fled to New York City in the mid 50s where he soon got caught up in the gang violence that was sweeping the city. Fearless and seemingly immune to physical pain, Cruz rose through the ranks of the notorious Mau Mau gang in Fort Greene, Brooklyn to become their War Lord.
Cruz’ life was a downward spiral of violence and dysfunction. A court-ordered psychiatrist told the court and Nicky that he was “doomed…finished…on a one-way trip to jail, the electric chair and hell.” Then one day a skinny preacher – David Wilkerson – came to the war-torn streets of Brooklyn delivering a message to Nicky – “Jesus loves you, Nicky.” Cruz threatened to kill the preacher, but several weeks later at a rally at the St. Nicholas Arena in NYC – Cruz surrendered his life to God and exchanged his weapons for a Bible.
The Wall Street Journal described Nicky as the “Billy Graham of the streets”
For the past 50 years, Nicky has been traveling around the world reaching tens of millions of people with his miraculous testimony. His life story has been told in the best-selling book, The Cross and the Switchblade, and in the movie by the same title, which starred Pat Boone and Erik Estrada. Cruz continues to minister in inner cities, prisons, and stadiums personally speaking to hundreds of thousands annually.
He is the president of Nicky Cruz Outreach, and Executive Producer of TRUCE, an international discipleship and evangelism ministry dedicated to reaching and mentoring young people. The Wall Street Journal described Nicky as the “Billy Graham of the streets.” No one knows how to touch a troubled youth's tortured life like an ex-gang leader. Day after day, Cruz reaches out to lost souls on the streets and helps them turn their lives around. Whether through "T.R.U.C.E." (To Reach Urban Children Everywhere) invasions, personal appeals to auditoriums filled with thousands of rival gang members, or in his internationally best selling books, Cruz is making a difference. Why does he succeed where presidents, politicians, social workers, and preachers often fail? He's one of their own.
Additionally, NCO partners with Times Square Church in NYC, World Challenge and The Springs Church in long-term relief and spiritual reconstruction in Haiti. Nicky is the father of four daughters and eight grandchildren. Nicky lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Gloria. Nicky was recently awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity by the Latin American Theological Seminary, as well as Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Therapy from Dayspring Christian University.
TRUCE Concert in Milwaukee
It may come as a surprise, but violence is widespread in Milwaukee, and this city is a main access point in our area. The majority of Wisconsin's crime can be traced back to the streets of Milwaukee. Nicky wants to make an positive impact on this issue and reduce the violence in our communities. He is hosting a free concert on July 30th at the Milwaukee Theater. It's incredibly noble for someone like him to face such evil head on without fear. He needs your support to fund this benefit concert! Please consider going to the event if you can, and making a donation of any amount on his outreach page. We've provided the link below.
Support Nicky Cruz and the Milwaukee TRUCE Concert
* Please note: If you donate, there is a place to add a message. Please include the following memo: TRUCE Concert MKE July 30
Where to follow Nicky Cruz
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