BELTON — Area churches will come together to celebrate America’s independence at the 43rd annual God and Country Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Mayborn Campus Center on the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor campus.

Gary Bledsoe, executive pastor for worship at First Baptist Church of Belton, said the event is a way to reconnect with the ideas that shaped America.

“The country was founded on biblical principles and a desire for religious freedom, so this gives us an opportunity to share that as we go into the Fourth of July week,” he said.

The concert will include church choirs from First Baptist of Belton, First Baptist of Salado, First Baptist of Temple and Taylor’s Valley Baptist Church. The choirs will be joined by the 1st Calvary Division Band as they perform a number of patriotic hymns and songs, including “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “America the Beautiful.”

The event also will include an armed forces salute to honor current and former members of the military. Veterans in the audience will be recognized, and taps will be played to honor those who gave their lives for their country.

The annual concert has drawn large audiences in the past and is packed full of patriotic and worshipful tradition. Bledsoe said the God and Country Concert is a unique way to observe faith and patriotism in one setting.

“It will be a great afternoon of band music and choir to celebrate our country and the freedom that we have,” he said.

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