Summit Church is led by a group of elders who serve as the governing board of the church. The elders are responsible for all issues and decisions at the church, including ministry, finances, facilities, etc, although they are free to delegate various tasks to others.
The senior pastor serves on the elder board along with the other elders, and is responsible for implementing the elder boards decisions and providing day-to-day leadership to the church. Other pastors and staff members are hired by the elders to help lead and manage the church in particular areas of ministry.
Robin Byrne | WORSHIP & GROUPS PASTOR
Robin has led worship for more than 25 years, and is super passionate about us giving God our best individually, as well as corporately on a Sunday morning. He is also responsible for approximately 20 community groups that we have going at Summit Church. Robin is directly involved with the care of our groups, whilst seeking to start new groups and encourage everyone to be part of a community group and “do life together”.
Robin is originally from Herne Bay in the United Kingdom, where he met Sonia while she was on her OE. He followed her back “down under”, and they have now been happily married for over 25 years. Robin and Sonia have three children, Bjorn, Jai and Milla.
At a young age, Robin got involved with the Boys' Brigade, which at the time was run by some very godly and caring leaders. Over a period of a few years, Robin was impacted by God’s grace and gave his heart to the Lord at a Boys' Brigade camp when he was 17.
Mark van Wijk | COMMUNITY PASTOR
As our Community Pastor, Mark is responsible for all spheres of outreach at Summit Church – whether it’s running local events like our Community Project, serving a regional partner like Te Whakaora Tangata, supporting a national partner like Willow Park Camp, or leading our global strategy with Project Thailand – he’s passionate about helping all of us Purposefully Love Others. With his technical and design background Mark also responsible for our IT infrastructure, online presence and print design as well as our audio and visual teams. As a founding Trustee of our community trust, he is also part of the team that manages and operates our community centre – Kotahi.
Mark and his wife Steph were married in 1998, and have three awesome kids – Ethan, Joel and Renee. After studying Business Computing at MIT, Mark’s first career was with Carter Holt Harvey, where he worked for 11 years in a variety of roles, but primarily in IT. In early 2006 he and Steph followed God’s call into full-time ministry – joining the Summit Church staff team.
Mark was raised in South Auckland, and having attended church there with his family from the time he was born, Mark came to faith in Christ at a young age whilst he was at a kids camp at Moirs Point in Northland. He often reflects on how God used a few key men in his life at strategic times to shape, encourage & challenge him. Having been on the receiving end of such quality mentoring, Mark is committed to building similar relationships with other young men.
Amelia Smith | YOUTH PASTOR
Amelia joined the Summit Church team in January 2019. She oversees our youth ministries for both high-schoolers and intermediates. She is passionate about young people and would love to see all the Summit Church youth connecting in and living for Jesus. Amelia also spends 2 days a week at Pakuranga College as a Youth Worker with the 24/7 programme, building relationships with young people in our community and supporting them through a pretty tough age.
Amelia loves people, water-sport, and our amazing Aotearoa. She also loves being surprised with free coffee throughout the day…
Amelia’s life all comes down to the faithfulness of God. Growing up in an amazing home with parents who loved Jesus and loved her, meant that Amelia realised the truth of the gospel within the first 6 years of her life. As she reached her teenage years, though, Amelia realised that knowing about God was not the same thing as living her life for Him. She learnt that the freedom of a life lived for Jesus is the only life that truly fulfils. Through our faithful God, many amazing mentors, a great youth group, a year of Bible college and loads of cool opportunities, Amelia has, and will, continue on her journey to be more like Jesus.
Mel Dunford | MINISTRY SUPPORT - SERVICES & NEXT GEN
Mel is responsible for Sunday administration and organisation, and provides valuable support to our kids & youth ministries.
She grew up in Shropshire, England. She has been living in New Zealand since the late 90s, and has two children: Ella and Josh.
Mel came to faith at 8, around the same time as her mother and two older sisters. She renewed her faith in her later adult years after an Alpha course, and was baptised soon after. She is now committed to going deeper with God and following His path for her life.
Stuart is married to Ianthe and they have three children; Callahan, Brooklyn and Xavier. He is a Respiratory and Sleep Physician working out of Middlemore Hospital. In his free-time he enjoys playing and watching sport, although these days seems to spend most of the time carting his children to various activities.
In addition to serving as an elder, Stuart and Ianthe run a community group (South Community group). Stuart is also involved in teaching in the Sunday morning service as well as a member of the set-up and pack-down teams. Ianthe serves as the Pastoral Care Director for the church, a volunteer coordination role to ensure people are looked after well during tough times.
Stuart was fortunate enough to grow up in a strong Christian home where his parents were great role models of the faith. Although Stuart became a Christian as a young child, a defining moment in his early Christian walk came when his father died in a car accident – this became a catalyst for deepening his personal walk with God.
Steve is happily married to Robyn, who is a Reading Recovery teacher. They have two awesome teenage boys, Adam and Carl, who are currently studying at Elim College. Steve works as an accountant and business advisor at RSM New Zealand, a chartered accounting firm based in Highbrook.
Steve contributes to the Sunday morning teaching. As well as this, he and Robyn lead Explore, a course designed for people wanting to check out Christianity and ask questions about the reality of God, the person of Jesus and what this all means to us today. Their aim is to create a safe place for seekers to bring their questions about God and Jesus, and hopefully discover why so many millions of people have entrusted themselves to Him. Robyn also leads the LOL women’s community group.
Steve was raised as an atheist so never attended church as he grew up. In his first job after school, he had a two year discussion (well, argument ) with his boss regarding the existence of God and the claims of Christianity. Through this, he came to discover the evidence for Christianity, as well as the amazing peace and hope that Jesus offers anyone who will consider His claims and put their faith in Him.
If you'd like to contact the Elder team please email email@example.com