Luis Palau, often called the “Billy Graham of Latin America,” had one driving goal in his life. “My wish and desire is that people get right with God, settle the big question, and die happy, knowing they will be with Jesus.” Until his death, in 2021, he devoted his life to bringing the gospel’s good news to the nations, particularly the Spanish-speaking nations.

Mr. Palau was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His father became a Christian through a British missionary’s ministry, which had a lasting impact on Luis’ life. Four years after surrendering his life to Christ while he was at a Bible camp, he heard Billy Graham on the radio for the first time. He asked God to help him become an evangelist, too.

He began his ministry journey by completing the graduate program at Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon. In 1962, he acted as the Spanish interpreter for Billy Graham during his Fresno, California evangelistic crusade. By then he was married to Patricia Scofield. Two short years later, he began his own ministry in Latin America. It began in Colombia with regular radio broadcasts in his native language, Spanish. He also began writing books to further extend the reach of his ministry.

His first large-scale crusade was held at the Presidential Plaza in Bogota, Colombia. 20,000 people attended. He continued holding crusades that drew hundreds of thousands of people throughout Central and South America. He also began preaching internationally in Spain, Scotland, Singapore and more. He was one of the first evangelists to preach the gospel in the Soviet Union after the Iron Curtain fell.

Less than two weeks after the 9/11 attacks that rocked our nation, more than 50,000 people gathered to hear Palau speak in Santa Cruz, California. The country, reeling from the unexpected violence, was looking for answers only God’s Word can offer. Palau went on to teach people worldwide through live events and media outreaches.

Although he no longer walks this earth, Luis Palau’s books and broadcast continue changing lives to God’s glory. His radio broadcasts alone have now been heard by about 22 million Spanish-speaking people. And his work continues through his son, Andrew, who carries on the work his father began.

It’s hard to know exactly how many people found faith in Christ through Luis’ Palau’s ministry, but his ministry records indicate the number at about two million. Praise God for this faith hero’s devotion!