Mosaic church to continue Keynote Café’s mission of ‘investing in Jeannette’s youth’
Nate Keisel believes in the youth of Jeannette and has high hopes that they can persevere and find not only success, but the will to become leaders in their community.
“We think that if we can remove some of the roadblocks these kids encounter, that leadership can flourish,” he said.
Keisel, 40, of Jeannette, is the pastor for Mosaic Community Church, a spiritual community that is still in its infancy but growing fast.
“We were working with Murrysville Community Church and, about a year-and-a-half ago, they sent us out to form a church,” Keisel said. “We knew Jeannette was an under-resourced community, and we wanted to be a cross-cultural church that cares for vulnerable members of the population.”
Keisel is a former assistant pastor at Murrysville Community Church.
“Over the course of time, Nate really developed a love for the Jeannette community,” said MCC Interim Senior Pastor Curt McDaniel. “Murrysville Community Church made the commitment to sponsor them over the next five years.”
Mosaic began as a rented space in the former Keynote Café in Jeannette.
“We started with a group of about 15 neighborhood kids and carpooled to start a Sunday night youth club,” Keisel said. “We spent a lot of time with them, did a Scripture lesson and also did a family meal. That’s something that kids from broken homes don’t always experience.”
Attendance slowly grew, and youth club meetings now draw from a group of about 50 children of varying ages.
When Keynote Café owner Jill Sorrels began to consider retirement, Keisel saw a chance to continue implementing her vision of a shared space community members to gather.
“We thought we could really continue some of what Jill was doing in terms of investing in the youth of this community,” he said.
Mosaic officials were able to finance the purchase of the Keynote building on South Fourth Street. While there is still a lot of work to do, Keisel is happy with the direction the church is headed.
“We have plans to add handicap-accessible restrooms, and we’d also like to put in a commercial kitchen,” Keisel said. “We’re considering a farm-to-table operation where we could potentially employ some of the kids and teach marketable skills.”
McDaniel said Mosaic’s story is part of a broader movement across the Presbyterian Church of America.
“For the last 20 or more years, specific churches in given communities have shown interest in ‘daughtering’ new churches,” he said. “The best way to say it is that Mosaic is a ‘daughter’ church.’”
Keisel said Sorrels will continue to host meetings of the Jeannette Arts Council at the former Keynote, “and we’ve encouraged her to continue hosting things like the open mic nights.”
Similar to Sorrels’ business model, Keisel said the possibility of renting office space is also under consideration.
“Part of a having a community center built around the church is having people you can network with,” he said. “If we can use this space to provide other services, like medical or dental care, we’re very open to assessing the needs of kids and then removing roadblocks so they can flourish.”
Mosaic’s Kids and Youth Club meets Sundays at 5 p.m., followed by the church’s weekly service and Bible study at 6:30 p.m.
For more, see MosaicJeannette.com.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .