Palau, Luis

(b. 1934)
   Argentinian evangelist
   Luis Palau was born on November 27, 1934, in Buenos Aires. He had a personal conversion to Christ at age 12. Six years later, he began preaching on weekends while making his living working in a bank. Around 1957, Palau and several associates organized an independent tent evangelism and radio ministry in Argentina. After he heard Billy Graham speak on the radio, the evangelist became his career role model.
   Palau received his basic education through Saint Alban's College in Argentina, part of the Cambridge University Overseas Program. In 1960, he traveled to the United States for graduate study at Multnomah School of the Bible, a conservative Evangelical school in Portland, Oregon.
   In 1961, Palau affiliated with Overseas Crusades (now OC International), a missionary agency supported by the Christian Brethren, and launched a ministry to Spanish-speaking communities. He was able to meet Graham the next year and served as a Spanish translator during his crusade in Fresno, California. The next year he was ordained and sent by OC International to Bogota, Colombia. There he began a radio ministry that continues to the present as Luis Palau Responde and Cruzada, heard across Latin America. In 1966, he held his first large-scale public preaching event, in Bogota. Others have been held periodically at locations around the world. His crusade in London (1984-85) attracted a cumulative attendance of more than half a million people. His ministry has been assisted by his fluency in both Spanish and English.
   In 1967, he was named OC's Latin America field director. An outstanding orator, he put together an international team of men and women to assist in his expansive evangelistic campaigns. By 1971, the Luis Palau Evangelistic Team emerged as a separate division within OC International, then on October 1, 1978, Palau and his team left OC to form an independent organization. Soon afterward, the first issue of Continente Nuevo, a magazine for Spanish-speaking ministers, appeared. The Luis Palau Evangelistic Association has its international headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and subsidiary offices in Miami, Guatemala City, and London.
   As the new century began, Palau visited the Peoples Republic of China, leading preaching services at three churches. He was also a keynote speaker at Billy Graham's Amsterdam 2000 event attended by some 10,000 evangelists. Palau remains one of the most well known Christian leaders in the world.
   Further reading:
   ■ Ellen Bascuti, Luis Palau, Evangelist to the World (Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour, 2000)
   ■ Luis Palau, Calling America and the Nations to Christ (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, 1994)
   ■ ----, It's a God Thing (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 2001); , Where Is God When Bad Things Happen? (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1999).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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