Grand Bahama Island Readies for Faith Fest 2017
With just a few hours before the start of the highly anticipated Faith Fest 2017 Conference, March 23 - 25, at the Grand Lucayan Resort, local organizers from throughout the nation’s tourism sector are making their final preparations to stage the biggest gospel event of the Spring.
Pastor Ken Moorer,Bishop Henry Fernandez and Dwight Armbrister.
With more than twelve months of aggressive offshore promotions on the Impact Network, the Word Network and TBN, showcasing the destination of Grand Bahama Island six days per week to over 90 million homes around the world, the event has attracted hundreds of registrants from seven countries, along with domestic travelers from New Providence and many of the neighboring Family Islands.
Betty Bethel, Director for the Ministry of Tourism, Grand Bahama Island, explained that organizers are working to ensure that delegates have the best possible destination experience.
Speaking to the anticipated financial injection into the local economy, through the hotel sector, transportation sector, food and beverage outlets and the like,
Bethel shared that “All of the registered guests will be moved via taxis from the International Airport”, and that “the conference is expected to result in some 2400 room nights for the island’s economy.”
She said that “We do believe that we will be rejuvenated from an economic perspective and we are excited from all accounts as to what this event will do for Grand Bahama Island.”
Kevin Clarke, Director of Conventions and Catering at the Grand Lucayan, said that the hotel is preparing to host approximately 1200 attendees at the conference’s opening session on March 23rd beginning at 7:00pm in the Grand Lucayan’s convention center.
On day one, attendees can look forward to spirit-filled sessions with Bishop Fernandez and Bishop Cardinal McIntosh, praise and worship from the two time Grammy Award winning recording artist Tye Tribbett, and a late night comedy show featuring noted comedian, Marcus Wiley.
Day two will begin with a physically rejuvenating beach-side exercise workout, followed by a morning session on relationships with Bishop Fernandez and a panel of local special guests.
The conference will round out with an evening session with Pastor Sheryl Brady and renowned psalmist, James Fortune.
Attendees can look forward to a change in scenery as the All White party and Bahamian musical showcase will take place on the Great Lawn, beginning at 11:00pm on Friday night and ending at 2:00am on Saturday morning.
On day three, delegates can look forward to experiencing the multiplicity of experiences that Grand Bahama Island has to offer, from tranquil beach experiences to snorkeling adventures, jeep tours and countless ecoadventures.
For a down-home taste of the island’s rustic culture, guests can enjoy tropical drinks and signature Bahamian dishes like chicken in da bag on property.
In speaking to the benefits of the Faith Fest promotional campaign to the economy, Dwight Armbrister, Director for Religious Tourism, said that “The value that Grand Bahama has received is exceptional and the payback enormous in stimulating the minds of people to want to come to Grand Bahama and experience the culture and hospitality.”
He added that faith based icons like Dr. Bobby Jones, along with travelers from various US cities including Atlanta and Nashville, have expressed interest in what is going on in Grand Bahama with Faith Fest.
He shared that the fusion of American and Bahamian talents coming together in ministry will not only serve as great opportunities for co-branding, but will also bring value to the Bahamian talents.
Faith Fest 2017 will not only feature international ministers and musicians, but also local talents, including Bishop Cardinal McIntosh, Pastor of Grand Bahama Family Worship Center; Pastor Simeon Outten and the Cooling Waters.
Armbrister said that “When we get our own people at the level where they can cause the world to follow them, then we are making our mark and are doing the right thing.”
Faith Fest in Grand Bahama was originally planned for October 2016, but had to be postponed due to the passage of Hurricane Matthew. During a recent interview with conference host, Bishop Henry Fernandez, international registrants were confirmed at well over the 400 marker, despite the decline in the numbers that were at 700, prior to the passage of Hurricane Matthew in October.
Bishop Fernandez said that “I am really excited that Faith Fest is not just about a spiritual experience, but it’s really an economic impact”.
Mrs. Debbie Huyler and Bishop Henry Fernandez.
For more information on Faith Fest 2017, visit www.henryfernandez.org/faithfest