Mario was born and raised in an Italian Catholic home on Sydney’s North Shore, his migrant family having settled in Artarmon in the 1960s. Mario attended Artarmon Public School and then went on to attend Crow’s Nest Boy’s High School. It was in high school that he made new friends who invited him to a Saturday night youth meeting at Metropolitan Baptist Church. For the first time, Mario heard the gospel of Jesus Christ preached from the Bible. As a result, Mario received the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. The year was 1978, and he was fourteen.
A series of crisis points caused Mario to surrender his life to the Lord Jesus Christ for Christian service. He determined to no longer live to meet his own desires but instead to please his Lord and Saviour. Prior to this, Mario had loved rugby league and while playing for the Willoughby Leagues Club, he had been selected to play for the junior grades of the North Sydney Leagues Club. However, God revealed to Mario that no man can serve two masters, for he will ultimately “love the one and hate the other”. So, Mario chose to say “No” to his passion to become a professional football player and made a deliberate decision to take up his cross and follow Jesus Christ. Mario enrolled in Sydney Bible Baptist College, a ministry of Metropolitan Baptist Church, in 1984 to prepare for the full-time ministry.
After graduating in 1986, Pastor Schiavone married and began a pastoral internship, enjoying almost five years as a youth pastor in the North Parramatta area before God called him into the ministry of an evangelist. During this time, he was privileged to travel throughout Australia and to parts of New Zealand preaching the Word of God.
After five years of faithful ministry, Pastor Schiavone was formally ordained to the gospel ministry in 1991. That same year Mario and his wife returned to his home church, Metropolitan Baptist Church, there continuing his ministry in evangelism and assisting in the youth ministry.
In 1994, after twenty years of faithful ministry, the church’s founding pastor, Marvin Matthews, believed it was time to hand the ministry over to a younger man. In 1995, Pastor Schiavone was called to be the new pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church. Twenty-six years later, Mario and his wife, Josie, continue to serve in this capacity alongside their 3 children and their spouses.
You can read Pastor Schiavone’s complete salvation testimony in the booklet “I am a Catholic”.