Luis Palau Hits Jamaica with Good News, Fun

American evangelist Luis Palau preached the Good News of Jesus Christ to an estimated 150,000 people in Jamaica's capital city of Kingston this past weekend.

Weather forecasts had predicted rain and thunderstorm all weekend long, but it was all sun on Saturday when Palau preached to the massive crowd.

The festival, entitled "Best Dressed 50Fest," took place in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Jamaica Broilers – the largest poultry distributor in the Caribbean – which underwrote the entire costs of the festival.

Jamaican Broilers president and CEO Robert Levy is a committed Christian who sponsors the smaller scale "Fun in the Son" festivals each year.

The companies brand is "Best Dressed Chicken," hence the name "Best Dressed 50Fest."

Last weekend's Kingston event came on the heels of the festival led by Luis Palau's son, Andrew, the previous weekend April 27 in the city of Mandeville, and overlapped with partner evangelist Miles McPherson's festival in Montego Bay May 2-3.

"[W]e praise the Lord for the great response, the amazing crowds, and the buzz throughout Kingston, Mandeville, and Montego Bay," read a Jamaica Fest update on the Luis Palau Association Web site.

The festivals offered free family-friendly entertainment such as Jamaican and international Christian musicians including TobyMac, Israel and New Breed, Papa San, Carlene Davis and DJ Nicholas, as well as children's activities and extreme sports performed by the Livin It Action Sports Team.

In addition to entertainment, the festival also brought hundreds of volunteers and thousands of dollars in medical and building supplies for community services in some of the island's poorest neighborhoods.

Presentations were made at 75 schools and a number of senior centers and children's homes; more than a dozen free medical and dental clinics were offered; and repairs and renovations to schools, parks and community centers were implemented across Jamaica.

But evangelism was the core purpose of the outreach, and more than 10,000 decisions were made to follow Christ during the 10 days of activities that also included gatherings for women and business and civic leaders.

Estimates for crowd attendance were 37,000 in Mandeville, 75,000 in Montego Bay and 150,000 in Kingston.

Besides speaking at the Kingston festival, Palau also met with ambassadors from Argentina and Spain, the Prime Minister and Governor General of Jamaica, members of parliament, and the mayor of Kingston.

The evangelist also met with leaders from an umbrella group of diverse Jamaican churches that provided supported during the preparations for 50Fest.

The next evangelistic festival will be held in Bucharest, Romania, with Andrew Palau from May 31 to June 1.

The Luis Palau Association's fun-filled evangelistic events have drawn more than 6 million people since 1999 in locations around the world including Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Manchester, England; Lima, Peru; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.