Billy Graham knew that no matter how often he held international crusades, there was always a need to develop new evangelists. Some people are threatened by new talent and some people rejoice. Billy Graham belonged to the second category as he sought over the last forty years to develop global evangelists.
The following events were witnesses of his effort:
Berlin 1966 – The World Congress on Evangelism; attended by 1,200 evangelists from 104 countries.
Lausanne 1974 – Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism – 2,400 evangelists from 150 countries
Amsterdam 1983 and 1986 – International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists – 13,000 evangelists from 150 countries
One of the evangelists who Billy Graham helped to start his own evangelistic organization is Luis Palau. For many years Luis Palau served as a translator at Billy Graham's meetings. In 1978 he started his own evangelist organization called The Luis Palau Evangelistic Association.
Luis Palau was born in Argentina in 1934 and migrated to the United States in 1960. He had a conversion experience at the age of 12, which shaped the future of his life. Once he arrived here in the US, he continued his education at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, the place where also he claims residence with his family.
Since his first crusade in 1966, over 14 million people attended his Festivals in over 69 countries. According to the statistics offered by the organization, over 757,000 people have made decisions for the Lord at these events and many have recommitted their lives to Christ.
Many regarded Palau as the evangelist for the next generation. He learned extensively from the Billy Graham Association of Evangelism. He wrote over 44 books and has a regular television program, which can be seen in 104 nations. His radio broadcasts are heard on 500 stations; 200 of which are in the United States.
Like Billy Graham, he invites the believing community to be a part of his Festivals through sponsorship. He is able to work with Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants. He held the first major crusade in the Soviet Union during the perestroika and he was invited to hold a crusade in Nepal. His messages of salvation are clear and he asks the converted to return to their churches and serve the Lord there.
He differs from Billy Graham in the sense that he is bilingual and an internationalist in his thinking. He holds evangelistic crusades in Spanish and in English. He is more at home with modern media and he hopes to become the evangelical alternative to Geraldo or Oprah. Some people contend that in the Spanish speaking world he is succeeding. He continues to make Christ known and now one of his sons, Andrew Palau has started to do the same work that his father has been doing. This is a testimony to Billy Graham touching not only one, but two generations.