Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Growing Church Marks First Anniversary

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Growing Church Marks First Anniversary

Article excerpt

Byline: Barbralyn A. Woodson, Times-Union staff writer

Mount Sinai Missionary Holiness Church recently celebrated its first anniversary.

Located in the Panama area, the church has grown from four members to more than 30 since it opened last year, said Rhonda Mitchell, who founded the church and four others in New York, California and Maryland.

"I've been called a pioneer," the minister said of her church-founding work. "It's my calling."

The Jacksonville native is also an adjunct professor at Edward Waters College and Florida Community College at Jacksonville's Downtown Campus.

She also is working on her second book, Up From Our Knees: Women Set Free by the Liberation Message of Jesus, due out in November. Her first was So Many Tears! Reflections of a Life of a Female Minister.

"I have a love for history and for researching Scripture," she said. "I think I have an expertise in history. I find that people are very interested and fascinated in what I do because I talk about people of color in the Bible."

ADDING LATIN FLAVOR

Nestled in among eateries like L's Soul Food, Mr. Crab, the Wing King and JT's Bar-B-Q, Latin American restaurant Tropical Kitchen is adding new flavor to the Dunn Avenue community.

"It's something some Northside residents haven't ever tried," said Colombian-born owner Erika Anturi, who moved from Miami with her husband, Juan Carlos Rivera, about a year ago.

Trying a new dish for the first time can be a scary experience, she added.

"Imagine sitting someone down blindfolded," she said. "It's like being a kid again. It's an adventure."

The restaurant has been open for about a month, with a menu featuring various Latin soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts and steak, pork and chicken entrees. But the neighborhood favorite, Rivera said, is the restaurant's tropical milk shakes.

Aside from helping out at the restaurant, Rivera is director of operations for Tech Aircraft Maintenance, which moved to Jacksonville International Airport about a year ago from Miami, bringing a host of Latin American employees to the area. …

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