Luis Palau, International Evangelist and Author, Dies at Age 86 After a Three-year Battle with Lung Cancer

Evangelist Luis Palau

After a three-year battle with lung cancer, evangelist Luis Palau died peacefully early this morning at his home in Portland, Oregon, according to a press release from the Luis Palau Association.  He was 86 years old.

For more than 65 years Palau played an influential role in Christian missions and worldwide evangelism as a powerful speaker, teacher, and author. His work took him to more than 80 nations and his campaigns allowed him to present a clear case for Christianity to an audience of more than 1 billion people through television, radio, print, and live events.

Standing strong for issues of faith and the importance of a vibrant, healthy spiritual life according to the teachings of the Bible, Palau was well regarded by leaders around the globe, including presidents, nobility, business leaders, and church clergy.

Originally from Argentina, Palau was born on November 27, 1934, in Ingeniero Maschwitz, a small town outside Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires. He became a follower of Jesus Christ at the age of 12, just two years after his father’s untimely death. Palau began preaching on street corners as a teenager and hosting his own Christian radio program by the age of 19.

He was invited to the United States in 1960 by Ray Stedman, a pastor and missionary leader from Palo Alto, California, who met Palau while in Argentina and began mentoring him shortly thereafter.

While studying at Multnomah School of the Bible (now Multnomah University) in Portland, Oregon, Luis met his wife, Patricia Scofield, and together they embarked on a life of missions – first going to Latin America and eventually to more than 80 nations around the world.

Early on in ministry, Palau served as an intern with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, occasionally helping as the late Reverend Billy Graham’s Spanish translator. Mr. Graham and his team played a significant role in opening doors of opportunity for Palau as he launched out with his own ministry efforts, and eventually helped him start his own evangelistic organization in 1978.

Throughout their lives Palau and Graham stayed close friends.

With a special heart for his home country of Argentina, and Latin America as a whole, much of Palau’s work over the years focused on the Spanish-speaking world. His two daily radio programs in Spanish, Cruzada con Luis Palau and Luis Palau Responde, have aired in millions of homes for decades. He had the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ personally with dozens of Latin presidents, dictators, and heads of state.

He was regularly called upon by leaders and media alike to share words of wisdom and insight during times of crisis. And his Spanish-speaking festivals and gatherings throughout the Latin world will forever be known as some of the largest, most historic of their kind.

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SOURCE: Assist News Service