Back in 1997, the church now known as Mosaic – a Baptist Church, started in the home of the then Senior Pastor, Russell Hinds and his wife Kaye.
In 1993, Stan Solomon approached Russell to plant a church in what was to be the development around the area in Robina and Mudgeeraba. In fact, Stan and Russell walked across a property and said that this would be a great location and prayed that God might give them that property.
Towards the end of 1997, Russell couldn’t get planting another church off his mind and particularly Robina/Mudgeeraba area. So he did all the background work including demographics, social make-up and what the plans were for the future with the council.
He then moved down to the Gold Coast. And after a trip back to the States, where he raised some financial support from friends and lots of people over there he decided it was time.
Firstly, we met at our home for several months on a Sunday afternoon from 3pm - 7pm; going through a philosophy of ministry and putting together a team. Some locals and friends from Townsville joined us om the team and we launched the first public meeting in Robina High School’s performing arts room.
Later I was driving my kids to school and I saw a 'For Sale' sign outside a building on the corner of Ambassador Drive and Reedy Creek Road. When I pulled up I could hear women screaming. There was a snake in the building! I caught the snake and put it in a box. Shortly after some of the leaders arrived. It turned out to be a Church in disarray because they had in fact withdrawn from their denomination and were looking for direction. So they agreed to rent us the auditorium in their building and that's where we really began.
After we constituted there on Pentecost Sunday, I had a phone call asking if I’d be interested in looking at a block of land with Baptist Care. When I went to look at the block of land; it was the same property that Stan Solomon and I walked across and prayed over in 1993!
We then tried to buy that piece of land, however, it didn’t eventuate. But during this time I forged a strong relationship with Mr Nielson who owned the land and we became good friends. As they were getting older, one day Mr Nielson said to me, “I know you can't build your building on the first block you looked at because it was too steep, but I've got the rest of the farm and developers are all over me. I don't want to sell to them. I want to sell to you. Go away and find out what you can do.”
I came back with an offer to purchase the property. We shook hands and agreed to buy the southern half of the property – everything south of the creek.
On Tuesday, we shook hands to buy our section. On the Thursday Mr Nielson went to the Ekka and then went home to the daughter's place. Sadly, they couldn't wake him in the morning - he died in his sleep that night.
So, then we had to negotiate with his children. They said that they would sell us the property if we bought the whole farm, and that the purchase price had gone up. Consequently, Baptist Care helped us buy all the land. We eventually came to an agreement and then had a marquee put up where we honoured the Nielson family.
Then we began to move to actually build the church and decided we’d build it with voluntary labour. The Church Worship Centre was constructed as a three day ‘quick build’ in late September 2001 by some 450 volunteers and tradespeople, and in many ways announced our arrival at Mudgeeraba.
One of the things that most people don't know is that the builder came to me and said, “we need a substantial amount of money by tomorrow and if we don't start tomorrow we won't be able to build the church in the time-frame we had decided.” At that point we didn't have a dollar, so I then shared at a men’s breakfast at the golf course our need, but I didn't say how much. One of the men came across to me and said that he and his wife had been praying about making a contribution and he wrote a figure down and said, “this is what we had been thinking of.” It was exactly what we needed!!
Up to this point in time the church had grown steadily. We had people coming and joining us, with a steady stream of conversions and quite a number of baptisms. The church was built on building relationships and being generous to the unchurched. We adopted ‘Christianity Explained’ and used it extensively.
The church was very active in reaching out in every way. We had many doors into the life of the church that people would come through, and we just set-up doors all over the place.
One of the great doors was ‘Love works,’ where we went and did acts of kindness for absolutely nothing and wouldn't allow people to donate. We’d just did it for free. We would go to garages on Saturday morning and do a sausage sizzle, and just gave people a small can of coke and a free sausage, plus a little card that said: “yes, this really is free.” On the other side of the card it said, ‘from your friends at Gold Coast Christian Family,” our service times and phone number. We had people walking in from the street – unchurched people.”