Luis Palau remembered at livestreamed memorial service

Andrew Palau paid tribute to his father at the intimate memorial service(Photo: Luis Palau Association)

Friends and family of much-loved evangelist Luis Palau gathered on Saturday for a memorial service that was broadcast live around the world. 

Palau, who was born in Argentina in 1934, died from lung cancer on March 11. He was 86. 

His son Andrew, who has followed in his father's footsteps as an evangelist, said his dad had not wanted a big send-off but only that his memorial service would "point to Jesus".

"We'll disobey him for one last time," he quipped. 

He said his father's favorite Bible verse had been John 10:10 ("I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly") and also shared what Luis had wanted written on his headstone: "Here lies Luis Palau. He wasn't perfect, but he sure loved Jesus."

Rich McKinley, the founding pastor of Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon, was among those paying tribute to Palau during the service. 

He spoke of the assurance Palau felt about going "to be with the Lord in heaven". 

He added that the evangelist, whose ministry spanned over 60 years, had a "short account with sin". 

"He took holiness seriously, not just as a thing to talk about," he said.

Palau was best known for his large-scale evangelistic events, which were staged in dozens of countries around the world. His last was in Central Park in New York City in 2015, when 60,000 people attended. 

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, the same year that the autobiographical "Palau the Movie" was released. 

He said at the time that although he would miss his wife and sons, he was "ready" to go. 

"So everything is ready, and if the Lord wants to take me home in the next two months or two years, then I'm ready," he said.

Palau is survived by his wife Patricia and sons Kevin, Keith, Andrew and Stephen.