Dr. Robert J. Tennant, Senior Pastor
Rob has been in ministry full-time since he graduated from Emory and Henry College. He believes all Christians are called to live lives of prayer and to be involved in ministries of compassion (helping people who need help) and evangelism (sharing the good news of Jesus Christ). Rob is passionate about preaching and encouraging people as they grow in their walk with Christ. He also loves mentoring younger pastors and believers whether they are new Christians or seasoned disciples who are growing in aspects of the faith. Rob sees his mission to help people reach the point where their lives (their skills, relationships, and experiences), the word of God, and the Holy Spirit all come together.
Rob and his wife Candy have three children, sons Igor and Henry, and daughter Merone. They enjoy family time together playing Legos, Star Wars, playing with friends in the neighborhood, reading books together, and doing jigsaw puzzles as a family activity.
Rob travels to Ethiopia annually visiting orphans and he hopes to include Hillside Church on these trips in the future. Also, when they are old enough, he plans on bringing his own kids along. He’d love it if you considering going along to spend time sharing the love of Jesus with children.
Rob has a bachelor’s degree from Emory and Henry College (southwest Virginia), a Master of Divinity from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (Richmond, VA), and a Doctorate of Ministry from Palmer Theological Seminary (Eastern Baptist University in Philadelphia).
Rob is a reader who especially enjoys authors like Fyodor Dostoevsky, N.T. Wright, Eugene Peterson, Alister McGrath, and C.S Lewis. Rob enjoys hiking, backpacking, and camping. He is an avid fan of Michigan/Detroit sports teams (Tigers, Lions, Pistons, and Wolverines) because his early childhood was spent there.
Hong Zhou was born and raised in Hainan Island, China. She speaks English, Chinese Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hainanese. She is trying to learn Spanish. She became a Christian believer in her adult years. Faith to her is, by God’s grace, a thoughtful decision and an ongoing lived experience.
She has a Bachelor of Engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology (Beijing, China), a Master of Divinity from Duke University (Durham, NC), and a Master of Social Work from UNC-CH (Chapel Hill, NC). She also finished a one-year full-time program of International Asian Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong, China), a two-year part-time program of Christianity and Chinese Culture at Peking University (Beijing, China), and a two-year part-time program of Christian Counseling at Beijing Agape Counseling Center (Beijing, China).
Hong felt God’s call to be a minister after her mother’s passing away in 2016. She understood the truth of salvation and resurrection in a deeper way. Holding on to the hope that she and her mother would meet again in heaven and her mother is resting in God’s peace now, she overcame grief and wanted to pass on the same hope to other people.
Hong has experiences with various types of churches. She attended a small house-church in Beijing for seven years and a startup church in Chapel Hill for three years. She was a pastoral intern with a medium size rural church in North Carolina for two years and a metropolitan mega church in Hong Kong for one year. She feels called to build an integrated Chinese Ministry at Hillside, where people from different races, languages, and cultural backgrounds could worship together, while celebrating and appreciating each other’s uniqueness given by God.
Hong used to work professionally with hi-tech companies in China and did corporate management work for ten years. Later she became a social worker in the U.S. working with older adults. She wants to utilize her various skill sets to serve God and serve her neighbors and bring blessings to the community.
Hong enjoys lots of things: reading, gourmet foods, sports, and traveling. She is curious about many things and simply enjoys the learning process itself. In the near future, she wants to learn Spanish, documentary film making, and swimming.
Dina Sit, Church Secretary
Dina was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She is a graduate of UC Davis and Golden Gate Baptist Seminary. Dina moved to Chapel Hill with her husband, Roger, and their sons, Logan and Bryce, in 2002. She enjoys small groups, singing, puzzles, and mystery novels. Dina serves on the Worship Team and is a worship leader for Vacation Bible School. She also leads the Tuesday morning Ladies Small Group.