Steve Walters – Lead Pastor
Steve Walters and his wife Terry met at Crown College in St. Bonifacius, MN and married in 1980. They have been in pastoral ministry since 1982. Steve was youth pastor for 14 years at Fremont Alliance, Fremont NE and Riverside Alliance, Monticello, MN. During those years they were blessed to add to their family with Bethany, Brittany and Tony. In 1996 the Walters moved to Omaha where Steve served at Christ Community Church (CCC) as pastor for Young Marrieds and Young Couples and eventually oversaw the Marriage and Family ministries. It was in 2007 that Steve and Terry then helped start a multi-site church of CCC in Bellevue, NE. After 17 years at CCC Steve and Terry felt led by God to take the lead pastor position at Hillside in August 2013.
Steve and Terry enjoy biking, exercising and planning for the next trip to see their 6 grandkids!
Steve has a burden to see that the church of today be a missional church. A church that is “operating and functioning” outside the walls of the church. The church should be involved not only in “come and see” but also, “go and tell.”
One of his favorite verses is Deuteronomy 31.8 “…for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.” Meaning, that God in His infinite power can go before me and yet while at the same time God can be right by my side. A great theological truth of God being everywhere and yet being near.
Nate Hercula – Pastor of Ministry Development
Nate attended Crown College in Minnesota where he earned degrees in Pastoral Leadership and Biblical Studies. He also met his wife, Natalie, at Crown and they got married in July 2013. In August 2015, they moved to Vermillion to begin serving full time at Hillside. Last year they welcomed their first child, Elliott, into the world.
Nate enjoys music, time with friends, baseball, and bike riding. You may often see him singing in his office or riding his bike around town. Also, if you ever have the urge to throw a baseball around with someone, you can always ask Nate.
At Hillside, Nate is involved in the children’s ministry, youth ministry, college ministry, worship ministry, and the overall development of the various ministries throughout the church. If you have any questions regarding these ministries, please feel free to talk to Nate. He is more than happy to get together with you and chat.
Colton Thrane – Worship & College Ministry Intern
Colton will graduate from Crown College in December 2019 with a degree in Worship Ministry and Christian Studies, beginning his internship at Hillside in July 2019. Born in Minnesota, raised in Iowa, and recently leaving residence in Wisconsin, Colton is a native to the Midwest and is excited to now call South Dakota home for the duration of his internship.
With a passion for music, Colton has many hobbies that go with that love, such as collecting vinyl, playing guitar, and singing almost everywhere he goes. He is also an avid sports fan and enjoys baseball, football, rugby, volleyball, and biking (which seems to be a theme at this church).
Colton's favorite verse is 2 Timothy 2:2 "and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also." Colton has a love for discipleship ministry and a desire to see the church grow due to spiritual multiplication much like what is represented in this verse.
Lynette Axtell – Administrative Assistant
Lynette has been serving at Hillside since October 2001 where she has been involved with the AWANA program as well as working behind the scenes to facilitate the many ministries and programs here at Hillside.
Originally from southwest Kansas, Lynette and her husband, Todd, moved to South Dakota in 1995 where they raised their three daughters. Lynette’s time is now primarily spent enjoying her four grandchildren, cooking for her extended family, and spending time with her parents who have retired in Vermillion. She can also be found cheering for the Carolina Panthers and tweaking her fantasy football team each fall!