Richard and Jill Lawton
Lead Elders

Richard and Jill were both born in the UK. They met as students, got married and had two daughters, Rebecca and Carys, before taking up a work contract in Durban, where their third daughter, Melissa, was born. At the end of Richard’s contract they returned to the UK but could not let go of the passion and calling they felt towards South Africa and they emigrated permanently in 1988. They joined Hillside about a year after it was planted, and were part of the eldership team from 1995, taking over leadership of the team in November 1997.

Richard has a burning desire to see the gospel incarnated in the church and for the church to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. He has a gift for communicating deep truths in both written form and in preaching and teaching. As well as being passionate about the local church, raising up leaders and elders to plant out new churches, he has travelled widely and ministered on six continents. Richard and Jill were part of the New Covenant Ministries Apostolic team from 2004-2009. They continue to minister outside of South Africa and have particularly strong links with a number of churches in Brazil.

Jill has a heart to see freedom and creativity unleashed in the local church. She enjoys preaching, writing and editing and currently takes care of the media and communications functions of Hillside. Trained as an educational psychologist, she loves to find the treasure in the individual and to help them to reach their potential in God. She also spends a fair amount of time scheming to spend family holidays with their three daughters and their partners and three grandchildren who all currently live in London, UK.

Roger and Tanya Tedder

Tedder FamilyRoger and Tanya have been a part of Hillside for 20 years and have been serving as elders for the past 17 years or so. Roger is involved in much of the pastoral work in the church. He is passionate about seeing people grow into what God has for them. He loves to see people take what God has gifted them in and use these gifts to spread God’s good news in all aspects of their lives. He has a deep desire to see men in the church mature and take hold of their rightful place in the kingdom as sons and leaders in their homes, the church and their workplace. One outworking of this is ‘Passed Thru Fire’, a rite-of-passage experience which he facilitates in the local schools, enabling young boys to understand and have a clear path to manhood.

Roger and Tanya also have a profound commitment to marriages in Hillside and work well together in ministry, counseling and preparing couples for marriage. They have two awesome kids; Stephen, who is 20, and Paige who is 18.

Tanya loves being a wife and mother and says it is a privilege and pleasure to be a part of the eldership team and the Hillside Family. She is also a full time Primary School teacher at St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls: “I love teaching, and it is a privilege to teach and be a part of the lives of God’s beautiful princesses every day. It reminds me that in all that I am and all that I do, I am first and foremost a daughter of our king.”

Matt and Kirstin Copeland

Copland Family

Matt and Kirstin are a power-couple who have a huge love for  people and serving them! They met on a blind date in 2006 and  were married the following year. While Kirstin had been a  member of Hillside since 2002, they returned as a couple in late  2009. They have two young boys, Angus and Seth, and a daughter, Camilla. Matt and Kirstin joined the eldership team in  April 2013 and continue to work in the marketplace.

Kirstin’s passion for people’s freedom, and her heart for  exploited children in particular, comes through in everything  she does. She is a practising Chiropractor who also makes time to  provide healthcare to vulnerable children, internationally  through her involvement with an organisation called Kiro Kids;  and locally from her position on the board of Makaphutu Children’s home. Within Hillside, Kirst oversees various community outreach projects the church has initiated (E.g. iKhusasaLethu, & Embo feeding scheme).

Matt is a pastor who knows how to love people well with the love of God he knows intimately! He is especially gifted in unlocking men and launching them into their destiny. Supported by his studies in marketing and economics; and his experience in business development and international marketing; Matt is passionate to see business involved in ministry and generosity released for the sake of the Kingdom.