Luis Palau, Hispanic evangelist, dies at 86

Luis Palau, 86, a Christian evangelist described by some as “the Latino Billy Graham,” died March 11 at his Portland, Ore., home. In January 2018, he was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer.

Over the past half century, the Luis Palau Association, based in Beaverton, Ore., estimates that it has reached 30 million people in 75 countries. Under his leadership, the association “has coordinated hundreds of citywide campaigns in dozens of nations, including major evangelistic festivals on five continents.”

Palau wrote dozens of books, and he was featured in radio broadcasts in English and Spanish on 3,500 radio outlets in 48 countries.

Julio Arriola, executive director of Hispanic relations and mobilization for the SBC Executive Committee, described Palau as a man of God who took the gospel to the nations. “He was a Latino who was willing to make Jesus famous, and not himself — another Billy Graham who came from Argentina,” Arriola said. “For Hispanic pastors and missionaries, he was an example to follow in how to share Jesus.”