Joshua Raines and Nygel Simms have a vision: at least 8,000 people, maybe 12,000, flocking to Parkview Field on a Friday night in early October.
If you've seen the Facebook page they launched in May to promote the vision, you'll find phrases like “Unity Starts With Us” and “One Place, One Faith, One Lord, One Sound.”
The idea is to celebrate differences, rather than let them divide, said Raines, one of the event's organizers.
Tickets go on sale Friday for the general admission event, Mosaic Celebration. It will feature at least two nationally known recording artists, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard and Tauren Wells.
Cobbs-Leonard may be best known for her album “Grace,” which included the Grammy Award-winning single “Break Every Chain.” She has won Stellar and Dove awards.
“She packs out places really well, and Tauren does the same,” said Raines, a local radio personality with STAR 88.3.
Wells, originally from Michigan, released his first solo, “Undefeated,” in 2016 and is a worship leader at Lakewood Church in Houston, where nationally known televangelist and author Joel Osteen pastors.
Raines and Simms, both 29, are partnering with GLS & Beyond and United Front on the Oct. 8 Mosaic Celebration. GLS & Beyond promotes the annual Global Leadership Summit and other initiatives, including a citywide prayer gathering. United Front is a cultural awareness program launched last year after nationwide racial unrest and will soon be launching a faith initiative.
The event will start at 7 p.m. and include a panel discussion centered on community and a regional worship team that Chip Clark from Blackhawk Ministries is coordinating. It will include worship leaders from churches from Warsaw to Anderson – more than 80 miles south of Fort Wayne.
“A church in Anderson wanted to be part of this and we really wanted the whole region to come around,” Raines said.
Event sponsors include Brotherhood Mutual, Ruoff Mortgage, Sweetwater Sound, Crosswinds Counseling and Ambassador Enterprises.
Much of the division in the past year has centered along political and racial issues, but even in the faith community gulfs can exist, based on culture and tradition.
“I think we all know that one of the most segregated days of the week is Sundays,” Raines said.
Simms, national director for Youth for Christ City Life, said the Mosaic event is designed to encourage the faith-based community “to intentionally come together and for us to lead in uncommon camaraderie.”
Event organizers are also partnering with Sackcloth & Ashes, which has indicated it will donate a blanket to an Indiana homeless shelter for each ticket sold, Simms said.
Mitzi Thomas, marketing vice president for Brotherhood Mutual, said the event is part of “building a culture of opportunity and hope” and the momentum is genuine.
“We're proud of our community and the way so many have intentionally come together across the business, faith, nonprofit, and government sectors despite the challenges and tragedies of the past 18 months,” Thomas said through email. “Even though there's still work to be done, we think it's important to take a breath and celebrate our diversity and unity with a Mosaic Celebration.”
About the event
What: Mosaic Celebration
When & Where: 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at Parkview Field in downtown Fort Wayne
Cost: General admission is $15 for tickets purchased Friday through Sept. 6. The price increases to $25 for tickets sold starting Sept. 7.
Availability: Tickets can be obtained at mosaiccelebration.com or through Mosaic Celebration on the social media platforms Facebook and Instagram.