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Oregon: Home to Large Relief Ministries and Luis Palau Evangelistic Association

Situated in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon is home to 17 of the top 1,000 Christian ministries by revenue, according to MinistryWatch records. The ministries generate over $880 million in income, making Oregon 11th on the list of the top 25 states.

The largest ministry in the state by far is Mercy Corps, with its mission “to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.” It began in 1979 and works in over 40 countries around the world. According to a recent research report by the ministry, it operates food security programming in 19 of the top 30 most fragile areas. In 2020, Mercy Corps had revenue totaling over $512 million.

Founded the same year, Medical Teams International is another relief organization that focuses on providing essential medical services. Its teams provide refugee medical care, emergency medical care in disasters, essential maternal and child health services, and mobile dental care. Medical Teams International works in Guatemala, Colombia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Bangladesh, and Lebanon—as well as the United States. In 2020, the ministry raised over $66 million in revenue. MinistryWatch featured Medical Teams International as a Shining Light Award winner in 2019.

Also headquartered in Portland is the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association, founded by its namesake in 1978. Palau died on March 11, 2021 at the age of 86 after a battle with lung cancer. He began preaching on the streets of his native Argentina at 19 years old. His son, Kevin Palau is the current president, and another son, Andrew, is an evangelist on the leadership team of the ministry.

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As its name states, the evangelism ministry spreads the Gospel through festivals, establishing ongoing city gospel movements across the United States, building networks of evangelists around the world, and reaching others through online evangelism. In 2019, Luis Palau Evangelistic Association was a MinistryWatch Shining Light Award winner, and in 2020 it had revenue of just under $33 million.

Oregon is also home to several Christian institutions of higher education. One of the oldest is Multnomah University in Portland. Multnomah was founded in 1936 as Multnomah School of the Bible by Rev. John Mitchell and became Multnomah University in 2008. Its stated mission is “to equip Christian students through higher education to become biblically competent, academically proficient, spiritually formed, and culturally engaged servant leaders, shaped to be a transforming force in the church, community, and world.”

In 2020, Multnomah had about $17 million in revenue. It is currently engaged in a search for a new president after current president Craig Williford announced his retirement, effective in June 2022.





Mercy Corps

Relief & Development



George Fox University




Medical Teams International

Relief & Development



Corban University




Luis Palau Evangelistic Association




Holt International Children’s Services

Adoption/Foster Care



Multnomah University




Africa New Life Ministries International

Foreign Missions



Western Seminary




Village Missions




Cannon Beach Conference Center

Camps/Conference Centers

Cannon Beach


Eugene Mission

Rescue Missions



Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a freelance writer who holds a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University. She has home schooled her three children and is happily married to her husband of 25 years. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and coaching high school extemporaneous speaking and debate.