GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Law enforcement, first responders and religious leaders came together Thursday for the Annual Blessing of the Badges at First Christian Church.

The Greenville Interfaith Clergy blesses police officers and sheriff deputies as well as members of the fire department and emergency medical services. After the blessing, people received a free meal from Habibi Mediterranean Grill.

“We recognize that the individuals that we’re blessing today have been called upon to do something that’s just really special in serving our community, and they lay their lives on the line for us, to protect us,” said Rev. Andrew Shue, First Christian Church Senior Minister.

Reverend Shue said that more than 500 people received blessings today, and they hope to bless more next year.