December 29, 2011
Unleashed, The Movement: Entering The Next Chapter
Donnie Mainellis will be the first person to tell you that salvation can happen anywhere and to anyone. Mainellis was addicted to drugs and alcohol, was failing his senior year at Brandon High School and was continuing his downward spiral. Fortunately for Mainellis, he had a Christian mother whose faith was strong and she prayed constantly for her lost son.
He was leading somewhat of a double-life. He was going to church with his mother but had no interest in God. “I was the biggest fake,” said Mainellis. “I didn’t have a personal relationship with God, I was just going through the motions and leading a double life.”
One dark day, Mainellis sat drunk and high in his truck and was getting ready to do his first line of cocaine when suddenly he had an unexplained moment of clarity. He closed his eyes and challenged God.
“I actually drew a line in the sand and told God that if he was for real, he needed to make himself known to me immediately,” said Mainellis. “Right that very second in that truck, God sobered me up 100 percent. For the first time I encountered God for real.”
From that moment on, Mainellis knew that he would serve the God that saved him. In January 2008, Mainellis started a worship service in his mother’s living room. People were inspired by Mainellis and before he knew it, more than 60 people were overflowing his house each week. The weekly worship became known as Unleashed and it was apparent it needed its own space.
In July 2009, the Community Worship Center helped Unleashed to start worshipping at Onething Prayer Center in Brandon. Within a year, Unleashed outgrew that space.
Unleashed eventually landed a home at The Crossing Church every Thursday night. The Crossing Church became a partner with the Unleashed movement and the weekly events grew larger. Mainellis, 21, and his dynamic team of young adults put together an intense and relevant event every week that appeals to people of all ages and walks of life, however is mostly aimed to reach the 18–30 year olds. “Survey’s how that 90 percent of people don’t return to church after the age of 18,” said Mainellis. “We hope to reach these people again and bring them back.”
Today anywhere from 500–1,000 people attend Unleashed events. With a club-like atmosphere, Mainellis explains that his team is presenting the Gospel in a radical way and they are not a conventional church. “We like to call ourselves a movement. We hope to spread this movement to cities across the U.S.,” said Mainellis.
Mainellis knows that God has big things in store for the Unleashed Movement. In January, Unleashed is moving to a new facility in order to reach more people. Mainellis is excited to see the things God has in store for the future. “We want to reach the whole community,” he said.
For more information about the new worship facility for Unleashed, visit www.unleashedthemovement.com or you can reach Mainellis at 458-7691.
Picture Caption: Donny Mainellis, founder of Unleashed The Movement is excited about the next chapter in the life of Unleashed. They are moving to a new location to be announced soon.