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Max Lucado named best preacher in America by Reader’s Digest

For immediate release
April 14, 2005

Reader's Digest has named Abilene Christian University alumnus and best-selling Christian author Max Lucado as the "Best Preacher" in this year's edition of the magazine’s "America's 100 Best" issue.

On the Reader's Digest Web site, the article is described as a collection of "extraordinary people, places, innovations, and adventures."

The entry describing Lucado focuses on his belief in second chances and his soft-spoken preaching style:

"Don't expect much pulpit-pounding at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. 'I used to be louder and rougher on people,' " says Max Lucado, 50, who's led the 5,000-member congregation since 1988. " 'Now I realize how much God has forgiven me.' His belief in second chances is pretty personal: As a young man he struggled with drinking and drifted from his faith. After the Bible urged him back, he attended seminary, did mission work in Brazil, and began writing a series of Christian bestsellers. The overall message? 'God's in the business of giving mulligans,' " he explains."

Lucado also has a thriving national radio ministry and more than 28 million copies of his 50 books in print.

He grew up in the West Texas town of Andrews, later receiving his undergraduate degree in journalism and mass communication and a master's degree in Bible and biblical related studies from ACU.  He met Denalyn Preston (an ACU graduate of 1979) while on the ministry staff at Central Church of Christ in Miami, Fla., and they married in 1981.  The two served as missionaries in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 1983-87.  Lucado was hired as pulpit minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio in 1988.

He is the first author to win three Book of the Year awards from the Evangelical Christian Publishers' Association, and at least one of his books has appeared on the ECPA's best-seller list every month for the past 12 years.  In 1993, Christianity Today named Lucado one of the seven most admired Christian authors.  Lucado received ACU's Communications Department Alumnus of the Year award in 1987, the Excellence in Mass Media Award in 1995, and ACU’s highest alumni honor – Outstanding Alumnus of the Year – in 2004.

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