From 1994 through 2002 Renaut (our lead pastor) worked in ministry pastoring middle school, high school and college students. In 2002, he and his family moved to the Orlando area to plant a church. They did not know much about church planting, but they knew they wanted to plant a church where any person, regardless of their current spiritual journey, could have an authentic experience with God. They were new to the area, and all we really had was a vision from God for a church that didn’t exist yet, and the incredible reality of God’s rescue, the story of the Gospel. So they started meeting people at the swimming pool in our neighborhood and at other events in our local community. As they got to know their stories, they would share our story with them and the vision we had for this new church. By Easter Sunday of 2003, we had our first Gathering and Mosaic was born. Mosaic was born and built at swimming pools and in coffee shops wherever we connected with people and their stories. It was built on missional living, the same missional life we need to be living now, the missional life we call everyone who knows and loves Jesus to live in every day.
During those first few years, our core group grew slowly, and little by little we became more and more like a family, doing life together around Clermont in hundreds of little ways. It was during these years of living in community, on mission together, that the name Mosaic emerged. We wanted to capture what the church really was in a name. As you may know the scripture describes the church as a body with many parts. Each part is designed to play its role in making the body beautiful to bring glory to God. In our cultural context we saw this same idea expressed in a mosaic. A mosaic is a bunch of broken pieces of tile or glass that any normal person would discard. However, in the hands of an artist, those broken pieces are carefully placed onto a surface and before you know it a beautiful piece of art emerges. In the same way, we are a bunch of broken people who should be discarded and forgotten. But, God (the master artist) rescues us and then brings us together in community and uses our unique design to place us in the perfect place in the biblical community. Together we become a beautiful picture of artwork to the world. We become God’s workmanship, God’s poem, God’s mosaic. This is who we are: Mosaic.
Over the next two years we bounced around from place to place as God continued to refine us as a core community. We started in the Lord’s Gym aerobics room (it was weird worshiping while watching yourself in the mirrors), then a small warehouse in Minneola, then a little place near Citrus Tower, then the old Real Life building on Hook St. for a few months on Sunday nights, then even Family Christian Center on Hwy. 27 for two months. Church in a box for almost three years. As God continued to grow our little family, we heard about a building in Oakland that was going to be put up for sale. Long story short, a family that does not live here is Florida, but believed deeply in the vision of Mosaic, called and said that they had signed a really big contract in their business and was wondering if there was anything that we needed. We said we could use a million dollars in cash. They said, I think we can do that! Through this incredible gift we were able to buy the building. In the next few months we exchanged a piece of land that had been gifted to us for about 650 thousand of the loan and paid the rest off in no time at all. God had simply handed us the space we needed to continue the ministry he had called us to.
Over the next several years as we continued to grow and mature as a church family, we began to see that God was handing us an incredible story, an opportunity to make the Gospel known both locally and globally. Our vision became clear: We exist to demonstrate our passion for God and His passion for people.
In an effort to DEMONSTRATE God’s passion for people, we dived headfirst into local and global missional living. We decided that we would always serve at the cost of surviving and never survive at the cost of serving. We served in thousands of little ways and big ways locally: fixing cars for single moms; paying bills for families in need; making meals for those who were sick, expecting, or just struggling; helping people move in and move out of their homes; serving with local organizations in multiple social justice issues. Globally, we served in the Republic of Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Kenya, Brazil, Ethiopia, China, Cambodia, and other places too.
As God continued to call us into the lives of people our story expanded. We have a huge heart for the people of Disney, and discovered that it was very hard for a Cast Member to be consistently connected with Mosaic because of the rhythms of entertainment and service, so in February of 2012 we launched our Disney Campus as a place where Cast Members could have an authentic experience with God on their schedule and in their context.
In Easter of 2013, we launched a Mosaic Campus in the Winter Garden Theater in downtown Winter Garden as another opportunity to impact the city of Winter Garden. The Winter Garden Campus joined back with the Oakland Campus in January 2017 to prepare for moving to our new building together later in 2017. At this time we found ourselves to be a pretty large church family that worshiped together in seven weekend Gatherings across two campuses. This was awesome–presenting new challenges, but not changing our collective heart to demonstrate our passion for God and His passion for people. No matter the future, we want to demonstrate the Gospel in the way we live and declare the Gospel in the things we say.
In December of 2017, we moved into a new, larger building in Winter Garden. What was once an old, vacant Value Mart became our new home. We built out and refurbished the portion of the building we knew we immediately needed to welcome and care for our growing Mosaic family.
No matter how big or small we become, we dream of a being a people passionate and vocal about the Gospel; mature and devoted to Jesus, missional, connected, full of the Spirit, in love with God and radical in the way we live and love.
As we have continued to grow, we are committed to keeping our deep sense of community and family– one living on mission together in biblical community growing more deeply devoted to Jesus each week. As things have changed here over the years we have had to learn and grow through it. We’ve had to come up with new and creative ways to continue to provide spaces where people can be inspired, grow deep connection, and do life together on mission for Jesus. Through things like missional communities and serve One teams, we continue to strive to give everyone the chance to connect here at Mosaic and experience what it means to be part of a biblical community.
Our hope and prayer for you is that this will be either the start or a special continuation of that journey for you.