Our Leaders

All SCPC Leaders and Staff have completed Safe Church training.

Our Elders

Stew Playsted: Pastor

Stew leads the team at Southern Cross and is thrilled to be a part of what our Father God might do across 2021. How amazing that we get to join in and share God’s heart to see women and children and men across our world, across our nation and even across the road celebrating the Saviour Jesus! That’s Stew’s prayer across 2021!!

Stew’s leadership includes: leading our staff/elders/committee of management, developing our preaching team, leading a gospel community, supporting/recruiting/training leaders, remaining invested in the next generation of Christian leaders and serving on the Presbytery of the Northern Rivers.

Stew is married to Susan and has three children he is discipling to share his passions!

If Stew isn’t across the road borrowing his neighbour’s ladder/wheelbarrow/milk you will find him jogging around the streets of Lismore or attempting to develop his ‘green thumb’ or getting his serve in tennis up to scratch.

Across his life Stew has been influenced by Christian leaders like Tim Keller, Charles Spurgeon and Tim Chester.

Matt Crosthwaite: Goonellabah Pastor

Matt is the Pastor of Southern Cross Goonellabah. He loves to share life and the gospel through building relationships – often while tinkering with projects or helping others with odd jobs.

Matt loves to ride, drive or pedal just about anything with wheels.

Matt and his wife, Sue, lead a busy household with 4 teenagers (plus a son and daughter-in-law across town) – and there’s always room for a few more guests anytime.

BBQs at Matt & Sue’s place are common and include people from across the road and right across Goonellabah.

With the challenges (and many, many joys) of 2020 behind him, Matt’s prayer for 2021 is to build stronger relationships within our Christian community and together to love and share the life-giving gospel of Jesus with others.

Wayne Brooks: Elder

Wayne is one of our elder elders. Wayne has been an elder of SCPC from its
launch and he has been privileged to watch God bless this once church plant with growth of people, growth in people and growth of all in love and trust of him who holds all things in his hands.

Wayne is currently the session clerk. He is also very happy to be part of
the young church plant, Southern Cross Goonellabah. Wayne leads a Gospel
Community, DNA group and a Sunday gathering occasionally. He also loves helping with youth and kids church programs.

Wayne and his wife, Adelle, mostly live alone in Goonellabah, although they
often have people with short-term needs stay with them. They have three adult boys, several foster children and a dozen or so grandies.

Wayne loves going four wheel driving, camping, long drives, riding his
motorbike, mostly with men from church, fishing, watching a movie and
occasionally playing games on the playstation.

Wayne gave his life to Christ when he was about 8 years old, but coasted
until he was about 20 when he was challenged by an older Christian to stop
coasting and start living for Jesus. Wayne did this, and really committed his
life to Christ and has been loving Him every since. Wayne’s wish and passion is to see all people come to Jesus across the road, across the nation and across the world.

Ian Coutts: Elder

Ian loves his church family at SCPC. He’s thankful for the work God does across Lismore, across the church family, across his own family and in his own life.

Ian is married to his amazing, kind and loving wife Jill. Together they have 3 energetic children! Ian enjoys the stillness of nature, working in the garden, spending time with his family and occasionally gets into some leatherwork.

Ian serves alongside Jill in leading a Gospel Community where they and their GC seek to do life together, following Jesus in all the brokenness, messiness and struggles of life. He is often reminded that the loving, gracious God of the universe is enough.

Across his life, Ian has been powerfully changed by God’s living, life-giving word in Jesus, by many loving people in the church family, by everyday people in the Bible like Joseph, Ruth, Daniel, the Samaritan lady at the well and by Paul among others. Ian has also been influenced by John Piper, Tim Keller, Sinclair Ferguson, Christopher Ash and Christ-centred music.

A favourite Psalm in 2020 was Psalm 46.

Scott Herd: Elder

Scott has been a Christian for a number of decades and is amazed at how his heavenly Father continues to reveal himself through Jesus’ sacrifice, through his word, through his people, by his Spirit.

Scott is married to Bronwyn and they have four adult children and a growing number of grandchildren.

Scott works in the rural industry spending time on farms with farmers. This brings joy in seeing God’s creativity in the macro and micro.

Years ago, as a young married man, Scott got to hang out with some wise older Christian men. These men spoke of their love for Jesus and taught with authority through the word of God and were a great influence in his life. These days Scott is impressed by the witness and love for the Lord shown by so many of the younger people of SCPC.

David Kemsley: Elder

Dave is a member of the leadership team at SCPC. He has a love for “wasting time” with others – whether that’s camping, chilling in the backyard, chatting over a coffee or playing a game of Mario Kart. Dave also enjoys wasting time with wife Amanda and three kids. 

Dave has a passion to see God’s word powerfully change the lives of friends in the ordinary everyday. Whether it’s through renewed awareness of the forgiveness of Jesus or new convictions to turn away from destructive life choices – he is constantly amazed at the endless work God does in the lives of His children.

Jon Mison: Elder

Jon is an elder of Southern Cross and has been a Christian for many years, having been influenced by many Christians over this time, and has three adult children.

Jon was brought up in Casino, then spent time away at university and at various other locations teaching before returning to the area about 25 years ago. Jon is now retired and has more flexibility with his time so loves being able to be more active in the church community. He enjoys gardening, not that you could tell by looking around his yard.

It has been a blessing for Jon to see how God has grown Southern Cross, both spiritually and numerically, under the foundation of sound biblical teaching. A particular joy is seeing so many people of all ages being prepared to serve in the mission of bringing the Gospel to people in the city of Lismore.

Jon is excited to look ahead in 2021 to imagine how God is going to be working to build his kingdom here in Lismore. 

Our Staff

In addition to our Leaders, SCPC is also blessed to be served by a number of specialist and trainee staff.

Tim McDonald: Families Pastor

Tim is the new Families Pastor at Southern Cross and is keen to get on board with what God is already doing in this lush part of the world. Although he grew up in Lismore attending Southern Cross he has spent the last 8 years living in Sydney and Newcastle. So when this role came up he was naturally excited to get back involved with the church he loves so dearly.

Tim’s leadership includes: leading our amazing team of Youth leaders, coordinating our Youth ministry, coordinating our Young Adult’s ministry and promoting discipleship of our younger folks.

Tim is married to Jasmine and has one baby daughter who he loves to read theology books to.

You’ll often catch Tim tending the garden while listening to a podcast (either philosophy, global politics or a real Bible-nerdy podcast). Tim is a horticulturist by trade and loves his indoor plant collection.

Throughout his life Tim has been influenced by Tim Keller, Tom Wright, Tim Mackie (of The Bible Project), John Piper and many young men at Southern Cross who took him under their wings when he was a much younger man.

Lyn Murphy: Kids Ministry Team Leader

Lyn serves as Children’s Ministry Leader at Southern Cross. She is married to Ken and they are blessed with six children and fourteen grandchildren. She loves any sport (hmmm..maybe not golf!), listening to “Gospel Coalition” sermons (favorites Sinclair Ferguson & Christopher Ash), and praise music while walking. She also loves gathering neighbours & friends around her table over a meal. At 17 Lyn was encouraged by her church to be involved in teaching kids church. She has never stopped!!

In 2021, as she continues preparing gospel-centred lessons for her Kids church team, school Scripture, and also helping with Mum & Me Time, her prayer is that the kids will respond to the great news of Jesus, and continue to grow in their faith.

Eliza Faulkner: Ministry Trainee

Eliza has just jumped on board the team at Southern Cross as a Ministry Apprentice and will be mainly based at Southern Cross Goonellabah. It is Eliza’s prayer that our neighbours, country and world would come to know what great love the Father has for them. Eliza is keen to share her love for our Lord and Saviour and is excited to see what God has in store for our community in 2021.

Eliza’s ministry roles will be: coordinating Southern Cross Goonellabah’s Kids programs, helping coordinate/lead her Gospel Community, teaching SRE lessons at Goonellabah Public School, running/facilitating Explore lunch time group at Lismore High School, being involved in leading Youth gatherings and Young Adults ministry and helping to coordinate camps for these. She will also be completing an Academic Studies in Theology Certificate through YouthWorks College and doing various Women’s Ministry roles throughout the year.

Eliza is married to Brent and they don’t have any children, although they have a pet cat called Ginger who rules the house.

When Eliza is at home you will probably see her drinking coffee, having family around or watching a good Netflix show to switch off. Eliza likes to think of herself as a creative type and dabbles in crafts/painting/sewing in her spare time and will sometimes buy plants that she can’t keep alive, much to Brent’s dismay.

Eliza has probably been influenced by various Christian books and authors over her life but mostly the influence of Christian relationships have fostered, grown and matured her to be the Christian woman she is today.

Jillian Coutts: Administration Assistant

Jillian serves at SCPC as an Administration Assistant on Fridays. She is married to Ian and they have three children aged 12, 10 and 6. Jillian loves spending time with people, especially over a meal, hanging out with her family, playing board games, reading or improving her sewing skills via YouTube.

In her role at SCPC, Jillian provides administration assistance to Stew and Bronwyn, specifically relating to events and week-to-week tasks that help the ministries of SCPC to run smoothly. Jillian, alongside her husband Ian, lead a Gospel Community in sharing life together as they seek to spread the good news of the gospel across the world, across the nation and across the road.  

Across her life, Jillian has been influenced largely by the faithful friendships that God has blessed her with. Jillian enjoys reading the Bible, both on her own and with others, listening to Christian music and finding encouragement and wisdom from devotional resources of faithful Christians such as Paul David Tripp, Tim Chester and John Piper.

Bronwyn Herd: Ministry Co-ordinator

Bronwyn is heading into her seventh year as the SCPC Ministry Co-ordinator. She keeps reminding everyone to send her another email if she’s forgotten that important detail already! Each week in the church office, Bronwyn tries to keep the cogs turning so that everyone knows what’s coming up next and who’s doing what across each Sunday, each week, each term and each year.

Bronwyn is married to Scott, they have four married adult children serving in their respective churches and 8 grandchildren who she loves bouncing with on the trampoline.

As she has walked with Jesus across a number of decades, Bronwyn has been encouraged by a number of older local faithful Christian women who have been role models for her. Bronwyn has also been influenced by female Christian authors like Jen Wilkin, Rosaria Butterfield & Carolyn Custis-James who have helped her read the Bible better and in her current stage of life, Bronwyn finds her adult children and their spouses as significantly influential, “as iron sharpens iron, so each one sharpens another” across the Herd clan.