Our Distinctives

Although labels can be misunderstood, here are a few of the distinguishing characteristics that define our church:


1. A Christian Church


While this may seem evident, we want to affirm that we are indeed a church that believes the Bible and is in line with the historic Christian faith that was "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). We are “in Christ” and gather together as a local expression of His body.


2. An Evangelical Church


By evangelical we mean that we treasure the Bible as God’s very Word and, therefore, as our final authority in all matters of life and doctrine. We also mean that we love the gospel, or good news, of Jesus Christ and see it as the central and saving message of the Scriptures.


3. An Essentially Reformed Church


By essentially reformed we mean that we embrace the general tenets of Reformed Theology. We love God’s sovereignty in all things, especially in our salvation, and His power to keep us to the end! However, we by no means minimize our responsibility to pursue holiness and live lives that please God.


4. A Continuationist Church


By continuationist we mean that we believe that God, the Holy Spirit, is actively at work building and maturing His Church by glorifying Jesus Christ and giving gifts to each member of His body. We believe that all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Scripture are still given to believers today and are to be pursued and used in love to bring God glory and bless His Church.

Our Pastors

  • Al Pino

    Al was raised in Miami, born to Cuban parents. After graduating from the University of Florida he spent four years in the army where God made it clear he was to give his life to full-time ministry. Al is a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. 


    In November of 1996, Al fulfilled his dream to return to Miami and plant Palm Vista Community Church. He is a former member of The Gospel Coalition’s Spanish arm, TGĆ: Coalición por el Evangelio and has had the privilege of contributing a chapter to the book, Gracia Sobre Gracia: La Nueva Reforma en el Mundo Hispano ("Grace Upon Grace: The New Reform in the Hispanic World”)Al and his wife, Desiree, have four children: Vanessa, Melinda, Stephanie, and Joe.

  • Corey Schmatjen

    Corey Schmatjen (pronounced like "just a smidgen") grew up many miles from Miami but now considers South Florida home. Corey was raised and went to college in California, earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Redlands and the London School of Economics and his graduate degree in Missiology from William Carey International University


    He and his wife served as missionaries with Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) for ten years. While a member of Metro Life Church in Orlando, Corey first sensed a call to pastoral ministry. From there he attended the Sovereign Grace Ministries' Pastors College in 2001. In May of 2002, Corey joined Al Pino as a pastor at Palm Vista. Corey and his wife, Cindy, have five children: CJ, Annika, Joel, Steven, and Lana.

Our History

God has sustained us and grown us from our initial gathering in a living room in 1997. We have had the joy of seeing numerous families come to a saving faith in Christ. We've also had the privilege of equipping and sending out many laborers & leaders into the harvest field - in Florida and beyond.  


Throughout the years, God has given us rich relationships with churches in Florida, the Caribbean, & the Spanish speaking world - and the opportunity to regularly visit, serve, encourage, and be encouraged by these churches and pastors.  


After 17 grateful years with Sovereign Grace Ministries (who helped plant and oversee our church), we ended our partnership with SGM and joined the Southern Baptist Convention of churches.  


In many ways, we are just beginning a new chapter in our fruitful history -- and hope you will consider being a part of it. 


  • 1997   Al Pino was sent out from Metro Life Church in Orlando to plant a church here in Miami.

    2002   Corey Schmatjen moved to Miami to join Al Pino as the second pastor.

    2012   Jose Prado was sent out with a church planting team to start Christ City Church further south in Miami-Dade County.

    2013   Jim Britt joined us and served for two years as our third pastor.

    2014   We ended our partnership with Sovereign Grace Ministries.

    2015   We joined the Miami Baptist Association and the Southern Baptist Convention of churches.

Our Affiliations

Below are networks of churches with which we identify or affiliate in our core teachings and values.  You can click on the logo for more information. 

  • The Gospel Coalition

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  • Southern Baptist Convention

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