Our Team

Families Team:


James Buchanan – Senior Minister

James is the senior minister at Hope Church Auckland Park by God’s grace and amazing sovereignty.  He was trained at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London, served as a student worker in Durban at The Bible Talks, studied for his MTh at Oak Hill College, London, was curate at Trinity Church Islington and then by God’s hand came to Johannesburg. He is married to Lucy (who serves their family and church family) and has four kids.


Gerald Mbebe – Assistant Minister

Gerald became a Christian in 2006 at UJ through eavesdropping while someone was sharing the gospel with his roommate. After being saved from Law to grace he went on to study theology at George Whitfield College. As a former Bloemfontein Celtics supporter, and being married to a philosopher, Keo, he is used to losing. He enjoys reading history on Facebook and Twitter. He hopes one day to include going to the gym as one of his hobbies.


Mbali Maliza – Children’s Worker

Mbali’s favourite movie is Cinderella, and she’s a sucker for a happy ending. It’s no surprise then that she is passionate about teaching kids about the ultimate happy ending – spending an eternity with Jesus in heaven. Mbali  loves going camping. Nothing makes her happier than being out in nature, breathing fresh air out under the stars. Her favourite pastime is doing crochet on a couch indoors on a stormy, rainy day.


Musawenkosi Ntinga – Church Planter

Born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal, Musa studied Civil Engineering in UKZN where he met his wife Masana and served in Christ Church Glenwood. He worked as an Engineer for 4 years before completing his BTh at George Whitefield College. In October his family got a little bigger with the birth of Ayabonga, their cute little baby boy. Musa’s hobbies include binging on a good TV series, analysing politics and watching sports.


Mvuselelo Radebe – Music Director

Mvuselelo is a musician and singer who loves the Lord, his wife, Busa, and their three boys, Sihle, Nthando and Yami. He Joined the team at Hope Church in 2016 as our music director, and he has a passion to train worship team and music leaders. He is also an artist and has released an album called Bambelela.


Younger Workers’ Team:


Mitch Spence – Men’s Worker (on sabbatical during 2017)

Mitch was born in Zimbabwe, studied in New Zealand and worked in London. He is married to Jessie and father to Harriet, and is now back on African soil. They have two boys who bark a lot more than they bite, he can find his way around a braai (even for those of you who like it dead, dead!), and for him a holiday has to include sand and sea. He feels a calling to evangelise coffee baristas, owns an All Blacks jersey, and spends most of his time with the young adults and the youth at Hope Church.


Thulisile Soko – Women’s Worker

Thuli grew up in a Christian home but only became a Christian at university. She then joined a Christian student group and was trained in studying God’s Word, evangelising, and living out her beliefs. She also had women who discipled her and modelled godly womanhood, which fuelled a desire to do the same for younger christian women. She’s passionate about women being trained to study God’s word and have Scripture define who they are instead of culture and the media. She also loves reading, 80’s Afro Jazz and superhero movies.


Student Team:


Madhush Mathews – Assistant Minister

Madhush first grasped the gospel during his later years as a student at the University of Cape Town. It proved to be a deeply formative period, stirring up a passion in him to see others come to know and delight in Christ. He now spends his time hanging out with students and training up gospel workers. To unwind, he enjoys reading, playing board games and watching cricket.


Mbulelo Maliza – Student Worker

Mbulelo believes in perseverance, training and hard work and he brings these values with him into student ministry. He loves to help students run the race set before them, and longs for them all to reach the finish line in Christ. To keep his mind set on things above, he punishes himself annually by running the Comrades Marathon. His favourite sports teams are the Sharks and the Orlando Pirates.


Nick Koning – Student Worker

Nick owns a hockey stick and hopes to use it again someday. For the moment he is content with running. Besides physical exercise, he enjoys exercising the few brain cells that reside between his ears. Nick is a scatter brain, because some things are more important than where he has put his stuff. Things like loving the God who loves him, and loving people. He enjoyed studying theology at George Whitefield College, but was overjoyed to finish that endeavour and marry Sarah. Nick is going to try be useful at youth and student ministry.


Sinethemba Hliso – Student Worker

Sinethemba became a Christian while at UJ through student ministry. After a year of having young believers regularly knocking at his door, inviting him to Bible studies (although he kept saying no) & social events, he finally heard the gospel explained, showing him why he needed saving. When he eventually accepted Christ as his Lord & Saviour he too began knocking at people’s doors, driven by the love that he now knew Christ had for him. After an apprenticeship he studied theology in Cape Town, returning in 2015 to join the Hope staff.


Faye Mathews – Student Worker

Faye loves people, loves adventure, and loves God and is most happy when all three can be combined. Her passion for God developed at a young age, but it was only half-way through her studies at Bible college that she recognised a particular passion for discipling students. She grew so much in her knowledge of and love for Christ in her own university years that she really wanted to help others do the same. She now works part-time with students and also helps with our online communications in-between looking after her little boy Joel.




BethanyBethany Soper (Families)

Beth is from Exeter, UK and is doing a 2 year residency at Hope Church. She grew up going to church but only became a follower of Jesus at 18. Beth trained as a nursery nurse and served in children’s ministry at her church. In 2013 she went to Lily of the Valley, SA, sharing the gospel and caring for 120 under 18’s, and then did an apprenticeship in the UK. Beth’s passion is to see children come to know Jesus and to disciple them for a life lived for Christ! In her spare time she loves to watch a good romcom, swim and spend time with friends and family.


Billy Matsitse (Students)

Billy was born and raised in Soweto and despite his family’s poverty, through God’s grace, he managed to get to varsity where he truly got to know about the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a result he surrendered his life to him. He’s very passionate about student and youth ministry because he believes that if you can impact young people with the gospel you have an opportunity to impact a generation for Christ. He would like in the future to return to Soweto to preach the gospel because there is such a hunger there for the true gospel of Jesus Christ.




Busi Sithebe (Students)

Busi loves to sing, she loves to talk and she just has a great love for people in general. She’s currently a part-time apprentice, but is looking forward to being in full-time ministry because of the training and learning opportunities it presents and because she’ll be able to use her love for people and life in service to further God’s Kingdom. Busi is eager to be a part of what God is doing with students at the university of Johannesburg.


Esté Meerkotter (Students)

Esté started a part-time apprenticeship at Hope Church in 2016, with her main focus being on the student work at Wits. She also teaches music part-time and studies classical vocals. She studied English and Philosophy at Wits, and besides her love for Bible teaching and music, she also loves thinking and writing. She hopes to continue full-time in ministry and looks forward to knowing God better and seeing His plans for her life unfold.


Marvin Mukhavhuli (Students)

Marvin is currently studying social work through UNISA, and is also doing a diploma in theology at Johannesburg Bible College via Mukhanyo Theological College. He was born in a Christian family and grew up loving Sunday school and being part of the church. In 2008, however, he started realising that no one is saved by being born into a Christian family. As he read the Bible he was slowly being convicted and then he got converted. Since then it has always been his desire to study the Bible, believe its truths and then share it with others.


LeboMolebogeng Moleele (Students)

Molebogeng is from a small town called Mahikeng. She is currently completing her general accounting degree with Unisa and is a new apprentice at Hope church. Molebogeng grew up going to church, but only grasped that salvation is by grace alone, and that no good work of her own could save her, during her first year of varsity. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, baking and catching up with friends.


Simphiwe May (Students)

Simphiwe grew up in Klerksdorp and has a sister and two brothers (he’s a twin). He’s involved in Sunday school, student ministry and more, while also studying at Johannesburg Bible College. He enjoys reading, especially gospel commentaries, as well as listening to deep house, gospel and RNB, and he plays the drums. He supports Pirates and Chelsea, and loves table tennis and board games. His passion is to grow in his faith as God’s Word is faithfully taught and preached. God’s Word is his absolute standard of truth and authority.


Support Staff:


Tebogo Mkgoboya – Janitor

Tebogo is a family man who loves his wife and three children dearly. He is also a die-hard Pirates supporter, and is loyal to the core. He loves to talk about life, family, sport, pretty much anything really. He is the longest serving member of our Hope staff team.