Robert Hyatt | The Feather Online

Luis Palau promoted Fresno CityFest to Peoples Church, Feb. 12

Save Mart Center hosts Lecrae and Palau family, April 1-2

A young man came to Fresno the same year Sam Walton opened the first Walmart. He planned to attend a crusade led by evangelist Billy Graham. The crusade needed a Spanish translator and that young man served in the vacant position. That man is Luis Palau.

Today, Palau is recognized as one of the top evangelical leaders in the world and identified by many as Billy Graham’s successor. He has preached in person to an estimated 30 million people in 75 different countries and speaks radio broadcasts on 3,500 radio outlets in Spanish and English.

In his most recent voyage to Fresno, Palau spoke three sermons at Peoples Church on the power of Christ, while promoting Fresno CityFest, Feb. 12. Palau uses events like the upcoming Fresno CityFest to help spread the Gospel, similar to Billy Graham’s crusades.

“I came here in 1962,” Palau said. “We went to the old Ratcliffe Stadium and Billy Graham had one of his crusades. They said to me, ‘he needs an interpreter into Spanish.’ I was probably 26 or 27 and I said, ‘yes.’ I was able to interpret and get to know him a little bit.”

“Here I learned how to organize one of these big festivals like CityFest coming up,” Palau continued. “I learned how you relate to the churches, how you build up friendships with the business community and how you build unity. So, I learned a lot. Also, while interpreting for Billy Graham, I learned some of his sermons which later on I listened to over and over to learn how to preach an evangelistic message.”

In addition to developing personal foundation in Fresno, Palau credits the city with several qualities they aim to model their festivals after. Palau also acknowledged his longtime friend G.L. Johnson for the examples he set. 

Robert Hyatt | The Feather Online

CityFest will be April 1-2 at the Save Mart Center and will feature artist, Lecrae.

“This city has some unique, beautiful things which you may not notice if you’re born here,” Palau said. “In comparison to other cities, Fresno pastor’s show a tremendous amount of respect for each other and I honestly think it goes back to Mr. Johnson. Like here (Peoples Church) during the service, they prayed for another church and that’s not done very often.

“I think that has set the stage for Fresno and it’s culture,” Palau continued. “From the get-go of this festival, my team members have all said, ‘it’s amazing, there’s such a unity in Fresno and such a respect for each other.’ There are differences I’m sure, but then we all have them–even with your own wife.”

Fresno CityFest will take place in the Save Mart Center, April 1-2. Featured artists include For King & Country, Lecrae, Marisol Park, Lincoln Brewster and Soul Fire Revolution. Luis Palau and his son Andrew headline the list of speakers.

In addition to all these, Chelsea Miller, press relations and communications direction, includes more available events. 

“What’s really cool about CityFest is that we really try to design it for the entire family,” Miller said. “Kids from four years old to your grandma can come. You can bring everybody. We’ve got a family fun zone, bounce houses, Bob and Larry from VeggieTales are coming, a CrossFit competition is going on and Rich Froning is going to be there. Lots of different things are going to be able to be accessible to families. It’s a completely free, two-day event with concerts all day long.”

Fresno CityFest is a free event that is open to anyone, young or old. Help spread the word by using hashtags like #GoodNewsInTheValley or inviting others to attend Fresno CityFest, April 1-2.

For more articles, read about Andrew Palau’s visit to FC.

This author can be reached via twitter @alexrurik23 and via email Alexander Rurik.

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