Mosaic Church of Tallahassee

Spencer Heintz, Spring 2016

Mosaic Church is a Christian community that is a member of the assemblies of god. This church agrees with and follows the 16 fundamental truths founded by the assemblies of god's general council. These truths are 16 basic 16 non negotiable tenants of faith shared by all Christians. The original structure of the church was built in 1948 and named the First Pentecostal Holiness Church, which was actually organized in 1911. The Mosaic church bought this property about nine years ago from the St. Peters First Anglican Church who owned it for about twenty years. After a little renovation such as removing a few of the pews to make it a more open community oriented place of worship, with a meet and greet section with coffee and doughnuts in the back. This really helps provide a much more family like group feeling between the fellow churchgoers, while still maintaining a more traditional look.  

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rhia Blackburn one of the churches Ordained Ministers. Apparently assemblies of god are some of the only churches that will allow for women to become ordained ministers. Mosaic church is one of the most culturally diverse churches in the area with welcoming foreign cultures and religions alike. They have many people from Western Cultures that are followers of Buddhism that will come and assimilate into their church community. This allows for the people of the church to take different perspectives on the way the Christian word is spoken during their sermons. Not to mention the bringing together of all different cultures can lead to one great after church meal.  

Since the church is relatively small they don't like to overextend themselves in regards to community service. They work with one of their sister churches called Connections Church which is a primarily homeless church and help supply extra food clothes blankets and anything they can in order to help out the community. They also partner with a program called Feed One that supplies food to the kids in the Philippines. Mosaic takes pride in not only being able to help the community, but also by helping all over the world acting as missionaries providing food, clean water, and clothes to places that the people of other cultures that attend the church identify as their home and places that they affiliate with to help communities on a global scale. They try to focus on a balance out being outward in regards to helping the world, and being inward as far as keeping their basic beliefs and not allowing the other cultures to affect them at the same time remaining one big unified community.  

Mosaics previous location was off of Jackson Bluff Road, but due to the increasing interest in a church that’s open to so many different cultures and backgrounds it was able to move to a bigger and nicer facility. They were able to sell it to a commercial real estate company in order to make Mosaics big new dreams come true.  Most of the sermons are led by the Lead Pastor Mario Solari, he has retained this title since 2007 when the new church was started. He is well known around the Florida State University campus for his starting of the Chi Alpha Christian fellowship back in 1993, but after the new church was built he felt he could better help the community as a whole by developing a close knit group of individuals to come closer to the heart of god. Mario is also the drummer in the churches worship band. 

A basic Sunday starts off at 10:45 A.M. with about twenty five minutes of the worship band playing. The worship band is bigger than your average church band being comprised of violins, violas, a keyboard, two singers, a drummer, percussion, along with electric and acoustic guitars. After the worship. Pastor Solari will do the weekly announcements, followed by about five minutes of meet and greet. This leads right into the sermon where Pastor Solari will preach for thirty minutes, where he preaches from the bible but with special emphasis on motives and humility. About once a quarter the church will do what they call "International Sundays" where everyone embraces their culture by wearing different clothes that reflect their culture along with bringing a dish from their home country in order to help everyone in this little church community assimilate and become more aware of each others lifestyle. The diversity of this church is second to none, this is reflected by the name "Mosaic" which represents that the church of god should be bits and pieces from all sort of cultures and theologies brought together in order to understand god on a much more comprehensive level. They also have smaller meetings on Wednesdays where they sing a few songs and separate into a guys group and a girls group, where Rhia even leads a pilates class after they do some studies, just to give you an example of how tight nit of a community Mosaic church has been able to form. 

A very important philosophy of the church is "belonging before you believe" which they derived from a book called Celtic Ways of Evangelism. This essentially means coming into a community and seeing it play out before having to join their belief system. This helps people assimilate without having to feel left out or ostracized which allows them to see how this group is much like a family and regardless of what you believe they will be able to make the decision of weather or not they would like to be a part of this family without being judged. So everyone involved can follow Jesus regardless of what their religious background is. They actually help this assimilation by having things like a dialogue night where they acted out a scene between Buddha and Jesus which came from a book called the lotus and the cross, where they both come across a prostitute who had aids and the advice that Buddha would give her and the advice that Jesus would give her, in order to help each other understand though seeing the underlying ideas behind these two religions. It's things like this that are going to allow for this church to grow and continue to help the community not only physically but  provide a sense of home for people and families that need something to believe in.