Baptists, Catholics, Pentecostals and members of other faiths and faith-based organizations are joining to produce the third annual Uniting Hearts Music Festival.

The free festival, from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday on 10 acres behind Gonzalez Cafe on Moody Street, will be full of fellowship, worship and fun with six hours of live Christian music, concessions, a playground and games.

“The group of varied backgrounds and denominations gives that example to the community that we are encouraging – all of this fellowship and togetherness and unity and that is the key thing,” said Rick Villa, development coordinator for the Victoria County Long-Term Recovery Group. “Whether you are Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist or from no church at all, we want to win souls for Christ, and someone is going to be saved that day, maybe more than one, and that is the type of mission we have.”

Mark Zepeda and the OLS Lifeteen Band Reunion, the Grace Band, the Mt. Nebo Adult Choir, Thirty Four:4, and Grupo Fe y Alabanza will provide the entertainment. More than a dozen churches of different denominations and other community partners will participate, and they will provide information about their ministries and causes. Many will sell concessions and keep 100% of the proceeds to support their various organizations.

Their offerings will include brisket sandwiches, nachos, sausage wraps, sausage on a stick, turkey legs, hot dogs, Frito pies, charro beans, whole dill pickles, funnel cakes, snow cones, cotton candy, popcorn, a variety of candy, lemonade, sodas and water. Also, Ooh La La Boutique and Salon and Mamasita’s Boutique will sell jewelry, purses and clothing, among other merchandise.

Promise Pointe, a faith-based nonprofit that provides housing for the homeless, will receive 10% of the net proceeds from the festival and other fundraisers hosted throughout the year by the steering committee. The concert is free because of the support provided by 24 sponsors. More than 600 people are expected to attend this year, up from 450 last year, because of the increase in sponsors and partners, Villa said.

“We follow God’s plan, work hard to bring the event and share the windfall of blessings with others,” Villa said.

For the children, the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent will donate its imagination playground for the day, which members of the Lighthouse for the Youth will operate. High school and college-age youths can take advantage of fun activities that Jenny Galvan, outreach specialist for Victoria College, and her team will coordinate.

Those who purchased T-shirts are encouraged to wear them to the festival. Red caps will be available for $15 at the event. Attendees also are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and tents for shade, but ice chests and outside food and beverage are not allowed.

Frank Reyes, owner of South Texas Ventilation, Heating and Air Conditioning, was inspired by God’s Holy Spirit to start the Christian concert three years ago, Villa said.

He approached different churches and organizations and many believed wholeheartedly in his vision. The support has continued to grow each year.

“It doesn’t matter what denomination you are, we are all God’s people, and we want to get everyone together,” Reyes said. “If one person turns their life over to God that day, it’s worth all the work we put into it.”

Elena Anita Watts covers arts, culture and entertainment for the Victoria Advocate. 

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"I'm glad to be reporting on the events that bring people in my hometown together for fun, culture, camaraderie and good causes."

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