Luis Palau is a Christian evangelist and founder of the Luis Palau Association. He is best known for his worldwide contemporary evangelistic festivals. Palau is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He began his preaching ministry at age 18 by sharing the gospel on the streets of Buenos Aires.
In the 1990s his ministry focus moved toward the United States as well as worldwide and by the end of the 1990s he had developed a unique festival evangelism ministry. Embracing contemporary life and culture, these festivals combine popular music, action sports, family-friendly entertainment, and most importantly, the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. More than a billion people worldwide have heard him preach the Good News through festivals, radio, television, and the internet.
Date of Birth:
November 27, 1934
Family & Home:
Born and raised in a wealthy Argentinian family, Luis Palau became a Christian at an early age. By 10 his father died, and Luis assumed the responsibility of supporting his family. He became successful in the banking business before moving to Portland, Oregon where he attended Multnomah Biblical Seminary. While in Bible school he met his wife, Patricia. Today they have four sons and 10 grandchildren and make their home in Portland. Three of Palau's sons (Kevin, Keith and Andrew) share with him in the leadership of the ministry.
Education & Ministry:
After attending Multnomah Biblical Seminary, Luis Palau and his wife began traveling as missionaries in Latin America. This led to involvement in evangelistic ministries, developing teams and helping evangelists. During this time he interpreted for Billy Graham, who had a big influence on Palau's ministry. Doors of ministry continued to open through international invitations and by the early 1980s Palau was having a big impact in Western Europe.
In the 1990s his ministry focus moved toward the United States as well as worldwide and by the end of the 1990s, through the encouragement of his sons, he developed a unique festival evangelism ministry. The Luis Palau Association holds 4-6 major events in the United States and overseas each year. The festivals are always free and open to everyone. They include multi-media productions, popular Christian music artists, a massive skate park featuring top Christian athletes of action sports like skate boarding, BMX and motocross. There's something for the whole family, including Veggie Tales for the children.
The Luis Palau Association employs more than 100 full time staff based on four continents. They partner with thousands of volunteers from local churches in preparation for and organization of the festivals. Since all of the festival finances are raised behind the scenes, before the event, this enables them to keep the focus of the festival on entertainment and the message of the gospel.
Taken from his biography, Palau states, "We emphasize Christ more than Christianity or denominations ... We focus on what Christians are for, not what we might be against. As an evangelist, my role is to share the Good News of our Savior: we leave the politics to others." Luis Palau's dream is to see an international revival with millions discovering the Christ of Christianity.
Luis Palau has authored 50 books, including:
- God's Grace (2007)
- Telling the Story: Evangelism for the Next Generation (2006)
- High Definition Life (2005)
- Stop Pretending (2003)
- God Is Relevant (1997)
- The Only Hope for America (1996)
- Calling America and the Nations to Christ (1994)
Luis Palau's Accomplishments:
- Palau has shared the gospel with more than 25 million people in 70 nations.
- His radio program is heard in both English and Spanish in 42 countries.
- His festival audiences have numbered more than 300,000 in south Florida and almost a million in Buenos Aires.
- He has established a ministry to develop and nurture partner evangelists called "The Next Generation Alliance."
- His ministry has also launched "Livin It Productions," an outreach project to youth and contemporary culture.