Max Lucado is a preacher with a storyteller’s gift—a pastor’s heart and a poet’s pen.
Max’s sermons begin at home with the congregation at Oak Hills Church, which he has led for more than 25 years. It is in this setting that his stories are first told, from a pastor’s heart. Eventually some of these sermons and stories are refined and fashioned into books that are shared far beyond the walls of Oak Hills and the city limits of San Antonio, Texas. Max’s words have traveled around the world in more than 54 languages via more than 120 million individual products. Most of these products are books (92 million), which have now occupied spots on every major national bestseller list. Over the years Max Lucado has been featured in countless national media outlets, dubbed “America’s Pastor” by Reader’s Digest, and even named one of the most influential leaders in social media by The New York Times.
Yet those who know him best will tell you that these accolades and accomplishments aren’t important to Max. His pastor’s heart, which longs to encourage the brokenhearted and to bind up the hurting, moves Max to the next sermon, the next book. His mission is simple—to overflow to others the grace and encouragement which has been lavished on him by God.
Max was born in a small town in West Texas, the youngest son of an oil field mechanic and a nurse. He grew up in church but as a teen took a different road, walking away from his parent’s faith. One starry summer night, after downing a six-pack of beer, Max began to wonder if there wasn’t more to life than parties and chasing pretty girls. Not long afterward, a Bible class at nearby Abilene Christian University stirred his heart again, drawing the young student into the unconditional love of God.
Max left West Texas with a master’s degree in Biblical Studies and a deep desire to share God’s love and mercy with others. When he landed in a small church near Miami, Florida, one of his duties as an associate pastor was to write the weekly church newsletter. It was then he discovered a powerful synergy between his passion for people, pastoral ministry, and writing. It was also in Florida that he discovered a lovely young woman named Denalyn, now his wife of more than 32 years.
Max and Denalyn decided as young marrieds to move to the mission field in Rio de Janeiro to help plant new churches. While in Brazil, Max continued to write, updating friends and family about their ministry and how God was lavishing love on missionaries and Brazilians alike. Eventually Max gathered the newsletters into a manuscript and sent them off to a dozen publishers. Only one said yes.
Max Lucado’s first book, On the Anvil, was published in 1985. His 31st book, Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer (September 2014), was born from his own struggles with prayer. Max poignantly shows how anyone can overcome disappointment from unanswered prayers and lean into the knowledge that God hears prayer.
Max and family moved back to Texas in 1988, and Max has been a minister at Oak Hills Church ever since. Max and Denalyn have three grown daughters, two in ministry, one in publishing, and one son-in-law also in full-time ministry.
Birth Place: San Angelo, TX
Graduate: Andrews High School, Andrews, TX
BA Mass Communications, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX
MA: Biblical and Related Studies, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX
Associate Minister, Central Church of Christ, Miami, FL
Church Planning Missionary, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Currently serving as a Preaching Minister, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX