Nampa’s God and Country Festival began during a movement organized by western actor Chuck Connors during the sixties to promote our country’s founding ideals and faith in God. Nampa held its first rally back in 1967. When the event moved to the Idaho Center in 2000, the name was changed from “God and Country Rally” to “God and Country Festival.”
Here is some history about one of Nampa’s best annual traditions!
The Afters performed this year with a great set of inspiring, Christ-centered music.
Needtobreathe delivered a rousing country-rock set of music enjoyed by all!.
Brandon Heath provided a great performance with an uplifting message. Brandon headlined this year after being an opening act in a previous year.
Mark Schultz was the headliner this year, and he performed some touching music and delivered a moving testimonial on adoption.
Phillips, Craig & Dean came out for a successful repeat performance from their 2004 appearance at the Festival.
Point of Grace was the headline band this year. They did a great job touching the lives of those who attended!
This was a record-breaking year for the Festival. We had over 12,000 in attendance in the outdoor arena.
Christian recording artists SONICFLOOd played a musical set that was both energetic and inspirational.
The festival highlighted local artists, such as:
- Dallis Fontenot
- God’s Kids
- Jamie Thieten
- Genesis Strength
- Scott Riggan
- Junior Jammers
- Faithful Men
In addition, we had a military jet flyover, children’s art and activitiy booths, souvenirs, and plenty of food. The evening was topped off with a spectacular fireworks show along with a moving patriotic medley produced by Christian radio station KTSY.
The Festival drew a crowd of nearly 10,000 visitors in 2004, with the concert being headlined by Christian recording artists Phillips, Craig & Dean.
Other local artists performed, as well:
- Scott Riggins
- Idaho Jazz Consortium
- Turn to God Kid’s Choir
- Esmeralda Paz and El Sembrador
Special guests included Jim Risch, Idaho Lt. Governor and Tom Dale, Mayor of Nampa.
Idaho Supreme Court Justice Daniel Eismann appeared in 2003 to honor veterans & the military.
The 2002 Festival was headlined by a band called “Go for Broke” from Bend, Oregon. Additional local performers included:
- The Musettes
- High Street
- Watchman Trio
- Faithful Men
Oliver North, a combat decorated Marine and #1 best selling author, was the featured speaker for the Festival. Other special guests included Governor Dirk Kempthorne, Senator Larry Craig, and Tom Dale, Mayor of Nampa.
Ed McGlasson, pastor of the Stadium Vineyard in Anaheim, California spoke at the 2001 Festival.
Ed became a Christian in 1977 after God healed three torn ligaments in his knee. He was drafted into the National Football League in 1979 by the New York Jets. He played four seasons in the NFL (1979-83) with the Jets, Rams, Giants and Eagles. During the off-seasons, Ed was active in a variety of ministry activities. He was a speaker at Billy Graham crusades and at high schools around the country, witnessing the salvation of 30,000 to 40,000 young people. Another knee injury took Ed out of professional football, and 1984 he entered full-time ministry and continued preaching around the country.
The year 2000 was an important year for the Festival, as it marked the first year it was held at the Idaho Center in Nampa. Attendance set a record, with nearly 8,000 enjoying the festivities that year. The event had previously been held at Lakeview Park in Nampa.
The featured speaker was Ed McGlasson, a former NFL football player who gave up his career in 1983 for full time ministry. He planted and pastored the Stadium Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Anaheim, California.