By Terri Nighswonger
A group of Northeast Ohio recording artists are putting their own career aspirations aside and are breaking new ground with a rare musical collaboration. It's not been organized for a one-time-only concert, but these musicians desire to perform together on a regular basis to bring glory to God and unity to the body of Christ.
The group, called Solafide, is made up of local solo artists Iran "Pete" Figueroa, Selina Mishael Ocasio, Amy Scott and sister group Sorella. It is the brainchild of Scott and Sorella's Margo Sokol. The two met at Connection Magazine's Jubilee banquet last spring and couldn't understand why these local Christian artists didn't know each other.
"We should know about each other and we should be able to get together and encourage each other," Sokol pondered. "So afterwards I wanted to send Amy a CD because she gave me one and I said wouldn't it be neat to get a group of artists together to do a concert where people can come and listen to different types of music. It took off from there."
The group has performed together at Church on the Rise in Westlake and at Rainbow Christian Bookstore. Everyone sings together at the beginning for worship and then each performs their own 25-minute set. Figueroa sings last and then wraps up the concert with whatever the Holy Spirit wants, by way of preaching.
The ultimate goal is always to bring glory to God, Sokol emphasized, and not to ourselves.
"We're all from different backgrounds, different ethnic backgrounds but we all still are sisters and brothers in Christ," Sokol said. "Why can't we show the Christian community that you can come from different backgrounds and still have the same purpose?"
The group has had a positive response so far. People seem to enjoy coming to a concert and hearing different kinds of music, the group agreed, and Solafide can also minister to the needs of the people in attendance.
"I believe we are evangelistic," Figueroa said. "I know that everyone has their own unique way have a way of ministering. The way we put the program together depends on how the Holy Spirit is moving and we go with the flow. The devil doesn't like it but it comes out the way the Holy Spirit wants it."
The foundation of Solafied is to be a ministry rather than to simply go out and entertain, but, as Scott pointed out, people liked to be entertained and that is what draws them to the concerts. Those who come to the concert will have the opportunity to be encouraged in some way.
Scott found the word Solafide, which means faith alone, in a book by Jim Cymbala.
"Just like the body of Christ has different parts, that's how Solafide is," Sokol said. "Selina has beautiful worship and Pete can really encourage people - we all have our parts that we play and God blesses them all and brings them all together just like in the body of Christ. My prayer is that God will use Solafide to be an example to the churches and the other local artists.
"God has prepared Solafied for a reason. This is a unique thing that God has put together here. When I go to churches, when I minister the word of God it's a different atmosphere. It's to reach the church and wake them up. It's to let them know that there's a cancer cell in the body of Christ and we're the medicine. That's how I see Solafide being used-to work in those areas that are hindered in the body of Christ. To encourage and to let them know it's not about religion, it's not about going to church in a routine thing, it's not about following man-made rules and regulations. It's about Jesus."
To contact Solafide, call 440-899-6869.