Palau, 86, was born in Argentina and went on to work with Billy Graham before establishing his own powerhouse international ministry. The Luis Palau Association said he died at his home in Portland, Oregon. He had announced in January 2018 that he had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. His radio programs, including the international Spanish-language “Luis Palau Responde,” are broadcast on 3,500 stations in 48 countries and his Portland, Oregon-based ministry organizes dozens of events each year on five continents. (See earlier story)
Despite the American evangelical church’s commendable focus on missions, many Christians in the U.S. may have missed the fact that God is doing great works in other parts of the world – and Palau was in the middle of some of that.
He held what he called “festivals” – his version of the Crusades held by his friend and mentor Billy Graham. He shared the gospel with more than one billion people throughout the world and spoke in person to more than 30 million people in 80 countries, according to National Religious Broadcasters. As a result, millions came to Christ.
“I like to describe Luis as a real-life super hero. But part of the amazing thing is he left a legacy of thousands and thousands of lives touched. But his own family, Kevin and Andrew and others who will carry on the work of the Palau Association, will go forward … and be part of the legacy he leaves.”
Dr. John Jackson, president
Dr. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist-Dallas remembers introducing him to a gathering in Dallas. “I just remember what a godly demeanor he had, what a powerful speaker he was,” he shares. “Aand truthfully, there’s no telling how many hundreds of thousands of people are in heaven or will be in heaven because of the great ministry of Luis Palau.”
The ministry of Luis Palau reminds Jeffress that the gospel of Jesus Christ is trans-cultural. “I think a ministry like this reminds us that God is bigger than the United States of America. He’s doing a work throughout the world.”
So … Billy Graham is gone, and now Luis Palau. Who is God using to replace them?
“I think God is filling it with a multitude of people,” the Dallas pastor responds. “The way technology has shifted, there’s so many different platforms and channels out there. I think God is using a multitude of men and women to accomplish his purpose.”
Palau’s ministry has posted a memorial website to honor the evangelist’s life of devotion to the Good News of Jesus.