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An estimated 30,000 attend Cityfest in Newcastle – including evangelist Luis Palau

An estimated 30,000 people attended Newcastle’s Foreshore Park last weekend to take part in CityFest – a two day festival presented by US evangelist Luis Palau.

The festival – which featured live music, shows and activities as well as a nightly presentation of the Gospel by Palau and his son Andrew – was held more than 30 years after the globally renowned preacher first held a campaign in the New South Wales town.

Luis Palau speaks at CityFest in Newscastle, New South Wales. PICTURE: Brad Person

More than 100 local churches were involved in the festival while among the performers were Australian Idol winner Stan Walker, New Zealand’s Evermore, Darlene Zschech and Hillsong.

Andrew Cole, pastor at New Vine Baptist Church, had accepted Christ as a teenager during a Palau crusade in 1982.

“I was a messy, 18 year-old, beer-swilling, rugby-playing young person,” Pastor Cole, who ran the kids zone at the festival, recalled.

“When I heard Luis speak, that got my attention. It”s been such a wonderful thing for me to contribute into this festival, knowing that 30 years ago a whole bunch of people gave me the opportunity to hear.”

The two-day festival was the culmination of what the Luis Palau Association called an “entire season of ministry” which included events for students, military personnel, civic leaders, and business professionals as well as training and mentorship programs for more than 50 Australian evangelists.

Meanwhile, in the months leading up to the day, more than 1,000 volunteers from churches across the Hunter region had performed around 60 community service acts as part of an initiative called CityServe.

Festival director Colin James said the campaign built upon the foundation laid 30 years ago.

“Whatever God”s doing in Newcastle, CityFest was not the end but the beginning,” he added.




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