NASHVILLE (NRB) — The National Religious Broadcasters honored two preachers with international influence and name recognition – Luis Palau and Billy Kim – by inducting them into the NRB Hall of Fame Tuesday, February 27, at Proclaim 18, the association’s International Christian Media Convention.
Palau, who has preached the Gospel as an evangelist and broadcaster for more than 65 years, and Kim, who pastored for more than 45 years and serves as chairman of Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) Korea, received NRB’s most prestigious award during sessions at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. The honor goes to a NRB member who has made an invaluable contribution to the field of Christian communications, has demonstrated the highest standards, and has exhibited faithfulness in Jesus.
Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, NRB’s president & CEO, described the men as “great patriarchs, heroes in the long line” of NRB members. “When we credit these people, we are crediting actually” the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, he said.
Johnson also told the audience, “The international component is very important [to NRB]. If we’re going to have a balanced Christian ministry, it has to be an international Christian ministry.”
Palau has preached the Gospel in 75 countries with more than a million salvation decisions registered. In his decades of mass evangelism, he likely became the world’s best-known evangelist other than Billy Graham, who died February 21.
A native of Argentina, Palau began his broadcasting career as an 18-year-old in 1952 with a daily radio program and has written nearly 50 books. His ministry includes the Next Generation Alliance, which consists of 650 evangelists who are being equipped to take the Gospel to the world.
“Luis Palau is a model Christian evangelist and Gospel broadcaster who has had a monumental impact on the world for Christ,” Johnson said in a news release. “Honoring Luis with this prestigious award is especially poignant coming in the very week of the funeral of Billy Graham, the world-renowned evangelist with whom Luis has so often been compared.”
Andrew Palau accepted the award on behalf of his father, who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.
In a video, Luis Palau thanked NRB and told the audience, “Frankly, there are many other people who deserve [the award] just as much as me. We just stuck around for many decades. But the glory I want to give to Jesus Christ, to God the Father, and to the blessed Holy Spirit. I am an unworthy servant of the Savior. And it’s all about the cross, all about the cross. If it wasn’t for the cross, we would all be condemned forever.”
Johnson also said in the news release, “NRB loves Luis Palau and we pray fervently that the Lord will grant him healing, even while we praise God for how He continues to use Luis through this illness to advance the Gospel.”
Kim began serving as director of FEBC Korea in 1973 while senior pastor of the Central Baptist Church in Suwon, South Korea. Only a dozen people were part of the church when he arrived in 1959, but there were more than 15,000 members when he retired in 2004.
He was elected in 2000 to a five-year term as president of the Baptist World Alliance, a partnership of Baptist organizations and churches that is more than 110 years old.
Kim served as interpreter for Graham’s 1973 Seoul, Korea, crusade, which reached an attendance of 1.1 million on the meeting’s final day.
“Inducting Billy Kim into NRB’s Hall of Fame is quite fitting given his worldwide influence for the Gospel through Christian broadcasting,” Johnson said in a news release. “Dr. Kim is a winsome evangelist for his Lord Jesus Christ, and a model for Christian communicators across the globe.”
Kim, who served as a houseboy to American soldiers during the Korean War, told the audience it was “an honor and privilege” to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He thanked NRB for giving “such a prestigious award to a Korean houseboy.”
FEBC Korea’s Children’s Choir performed before the award presentation to Kim.
By Tom Strode
Published: , 2019