Internationally Renowned Evangelist Luis Palau Dies at 86
By Movieguide® Staff
Luis Palau, an evangelist often known as the Billy Graham of Latin America, died on Thursday at the age of 86, after years of battling Stage IV lung cancer.
“After a 3 year battle with lung cancer, Dad passed away today at his home in Portland, Oregon. We are heartbroken, yet full of hope and faith. We serve a good God who loves us tremendously,” his son Kevin Palau shared to the evangelist’s Twitter account.
According to Palau’s official obituary:
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.
Palau was also the subject of a movie by the same name.
Movieguide® called PALAU: THE MOVIE “an encouraging biography about the life of Christian evangelist Luis Palau. Drawing from the example of his late father in Argentina, Luis becomes a Christian minister dedicated to share the good news with the people. Set in the 1940s to 1960s in South America, PALAU shows the struggle Christian missionaries faced during communist uprisings, and how the good news of Jesus can transcend any worldly ideology.”
Furthermore, “PALAU has a very strong Christian, biblical, evangelical worldview with depictions of prayers, reading the Bible, and sharing the Gospel. It also celebrates Christian parenting and focuses on the need to practice the Sabbath. PALAU has great costuming, a moving score that fits the onscreen action well, and a particularly captivating performance by lead actor Gastón Pauls as Luis Palau.”
Palau’s legacy lives on through his family and the countless people who came to Christ as a result of his preaching.
Luis was a friend of Dr. Ted Baehr.
Ted adds, “Since my wife Lili is Argentine, she and Luis had an affinity for each other. Also, the people who ran Luis’s ministry became close friends, whom we helped and who helped us. Luis was a great example of a faith-filled evangelist.”
Palau is survived by his wife, Patricia; his sons Kevin, Keith, Andrew, and Stephen; his daughters-in-law Michelle, Gloria, and Wendy; his sisters Matilde, Martha, Catalina, Margarita, and Ruth; his brother Jorge; 12 grandchildren; and many beloved extended family.
Many people and organizations shared their memories of Palau on social media.
Today, a longtime friend of the Graham family and tireless witness for Christ passed away. In his 86 years of life, @LuisPalauLive preached to an estimated 30 million people in 75 countries.
Join us in praying for his family, friends and ministry. https://t.co/jBmYoGzilb
— BGEA (@BGEA) March 11, 2021
Luis Palau was one of the best Gospel communicators I have ever known. He had a humble spirit, a genuinely kind soul, a true servant’s heart, a love for his Savior and a deep passion for the lost. Luis’ legacy and the eternal impact of his ministry will be felt for generations. pic.twitter.com/zwoqN787kh
— Will Graham (@WillGraham_4) March 11, 2021
New: “Luis Palau Is With the Lord: No Regrets for Proclaiming the Gospel.”
Celebrating the life and legacy of @LuisPalauLive.
— Ed Stetzer (@edstetzer) March 11, 2021
A legend has passed into God’s presence. I’m deeply grateful for the legacy and example of Luis Palau. pic.twitter.com/wcmrNnO63F
— Greg Stier (@gregstier) March 11, 2021
As Luis Palau once noted: “When you win people to Jesus Christ, it’s the greatest joy … And it’s contagious. Once you do it, you don’t want to stop.” As we mourn and pray with the family of this hero of the faith, let’s honor his legacy by echoing his message of joy and hope.
— Samuel Rodriguez (@nhclc) March 11, 2021
.@LuisPalauLive has invested his life in sharing the Gospel. He was a good friend of my father @BillyGraham & he is my friend as well. His family has shared that he is now in hospice care at home. I know they would appreciate our prayers during this time. https://t.co/Oo6uucK90u
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) March 4, 2021