Evangelist Luis Palau Passes Away at Age 86

Luis Palau

Evangelist Luis Palau has died at age 86 of lung cancer. Palau, a native of Argentina, revealed in January 2018 that he had been diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer. Palau was one of Billy Graham's most prominent successors. He has shared the gospel in more than 80 countries around the world. His ministry led millions of individuals to make personal decisions to follow Jesus. 

Palau's children write: "He died suddenly and very peacefully, just as he had hoped. Mom and the family are doing well. It's too early for details on a memorial service but we plan to have a small, private service here in Portland that will be streamed online to honor Dad's life and the Lord. We'll be sure to share details soon.

We also have just launched a memorial website at

It's a great place for people to reflect on Dad's life and leave comments. We will also be livestreaming the memorial service from this website."

Christian leaders are reacting to Palau and have sent their tributes.

John Jackson, president of William Jessup University, releases this statement following the death of renowned evangelist Luis Palau:

"In an age of movie superheroes, Luis Palau was and is a real-life hero of the faith. Luis preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to millions and was a father of the faith to thousands of Christian leaders around the world. It was my great honor to be with Luis on a number of occasions including those times of preparation for his Reno Festival in 2004 and his Sacramento Festival in 2012. I never had an experience with Luis that was not full of the love of Jesus Christ, a passion to reach the world with the good news of God's love, and an unfailing concern for his family and ministry. We celebrate Luis's life and pray for the comfort and encouragement of his family."

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), releases the following statement in reaction to the passing of evangelist Luis Palau:

"When I think of how to describe Luis Palau, the first thing that comes to mind is his joy. His radiant smile, his enthusiasm, his energy came from a deep love for Jesus and a passion for sharing grace and truth with anyone who would listen. 

"Although Luis would not desire to glorify himself, we celebrate his faithfulness: because of his obedience over a lifetime, more than 1 billion people around the world have heard the Gospel.

"Luis has received the victor's crown, the 'Well done, good and faithful servant' from his Savior. Though he is rejoicing in heaven, he will be sorely missed here. His friendship and mentorship meant more to me than words can adequately express. My prayers are with the Palau family in this difficult time."

Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary Church releases this statement:

"Luis Palau has just graduated to heaven. What a powerhouse he was! As an evangelist, he preached the gospel across the globe to more than 25 million people in 72 countries. Luis lived what he preached. He once said, 'When you face weariness, carelessness, and confusion, don't pray for an easier life. Pray instead to be a stronger man or woman of God.' After his battle with cancer, Luis entered into his eternal reward. Please pray for his wife, Pat, and his sons Andrew, Kevin, Keith, and their families."

James Dobson, founder and president of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute (JDFI): 

I am so saddened to hear of the passing of international evangelist Luis Palau. He was a beloved friend whom God used to reach millions of people with the gospel message, and I will miss him dearly. Over the years, I was blessed to hear countless stories of salvation from Luis as he brought our listeners up to date regarding his crusades and ministry efforts. His passion for sharing Jesus Christ around the world was immeasurable. As a result of Luis' obedience to the Great Commission, there will be innumerable more people in heaven. Shirley and I send our prayers to Luis' wife, Pat, his sons Kevin, Keith, Andrew, and Stephen, and their families. 


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