Geneseo is a town of many churches but all with a shared belief in praising God.

Geneseo is a town of many churches but all with a shared belief in praising God.

The churches will come together on common ground for the annual Praise Band Jam from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 26 in Geneseo City Park. In the event of rain, the “Jam” will be in the large shelter at Richmond Hill Park.

Geneseo Grace United Methodist Church hosts this year’s event and committee members include the Rev. Melva Graham England and the Rev. Mark England Graham, and music staff Lynne Haars, Becky Daniels and intern Connor Morrison.

In addition to music, the event will feature ice cream and desserts from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. a pie auction and hot food available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Each year the Praise Band Jam raises money for different charities and this year donations will benefit Royal Family Kids Camp.

England said there are “only nine Royal Family Kids camps in Illinois and Henry County is one of the locations.”

Geneseo Watermark Assembly of God organizes the five-day camp held each summer for children ages 7-11 who are or have been in foster care or involved with Social Services, she said.

The first Praise Band Jam was organized in 2013 by First United Methodist Church and featured five groups. Last year’s event included 10 groups and the 2015 concert also will showcase 10 groups.

The night of includes a mix of old and new, from traditional hymns to contemporary music.

Graham said, “The ‘Jam’ is a great time for all churches of Geneseo to come together and celebrate that we are one in the body of Christ. It is a way we can share the good news of Christ with community through music.”

It also allows praise band members to hear groups from other churches.

The Grace church pastors had just moved to Geneseo when the first Jam was held in 2013.

“I remember thinking it was like a 21st century Norman Rockwell paining. The city park on a summer Sunday afternoon; adults chatting and listening to music while shooing flies away from melting ice cream on their sagging plates while the children played on the green stretches of lawn. In the band shell, the choir was gathered, accompanied by guitar, keyboard and drums,” said England.

“I thought, ‘This is the best of living,’” she said. “A free concert with excellent music, wonderful company to visit with, and with a small donation I can eat and make a difference in the lives of children. Oh, to live in a nation where we are free to worship our God in wide open spaces, and we get to do it all over again this year — local hands playing, strumming and drumming, local voices lifted in song and all our hearts raised in praise.”