Meet Our Staff
Reverend Laura Brewster
Appointed to Northwest Hills UMC in June of 2016, Laura was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. She earned her Bachelor of Journalism from UT and spent the next few years working in TV news where she felt God using her to highlight important issues such as poverty and racism. Eventually, she felt God calling her to share the Good News instead of reporting bad news. She earned a Master of Divinity (cum laude) from Perkins School of Theology, SMU, and has been serving local churches since then. Laura is married to Scott Clear, and their daughter, Rachel, is a graduate student at U.T.
Reverend Dr. Ray Kiser
Ray is a retired elder in the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, serving part-time with Northwest Hills UMC, where he formerly served as Senior Pastor from 1988 to 1997. He studied for Christian ministry at Duke University and Yale Divinity School and earned a Ph.D. in Theology and Personality at the Claremont School of Theology. He and his wife Stacy live in Lakeway, and they have three young adult children: Christopher, Sarah, and Grace.
Elaina grew up in Madison, Alabama before traveling the world as an English Language instructor. A graduate of both Birmingham-Southern College (B.A. in Religion) and Concordia University (Master of Education), Elaina enjoyed living and teaching in Mexico, South Korea, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates before coming home to travel the US with her husband, Robert, who is a UT Journalism doctoral student. Elaina coordinates office communications, publications, calendars, events, and church records, as well as serving as the staff liaison to the Board of Trustees.
Michelle grew up in the Austin area and received a Master of Science in Accounting at Texas A&M. Michelle is a CPA and has a diverse work background, but recently her work has been in church accounting because she loves using her gifts to serve the church. The United Methodist Church and mission are dear to her as she is a lifelong Methodist and a clergy spouse. Her husband, David, serves as the Director of the Texas Wesley, and they enjoy serving together along with their two young daughters, Sophie and Amelia.
Tyler, a native of the Texas Hill Country, is a student at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary working toward a Master of Divinity. While earning his undergraduate degree in Social Work, Tyler had the blessing and privilege to serve as the Youth Director at Gruene UMC in New Braunfels, Texas, before continuing to work with youth in school social work and residential foster care settings. He and his wife, Mandy, share their home with two beautiful boys: their dog, Mulligan, and their cat, Jack. He enjoys reading fantasy novels, spending time outdoors, and all things related to the world’s greatest basketball team: the Dallas Mavericks.
Two of the greatest joys in Heather’s life have been raising her two kids with her husband, Hal, and being a part of the congregation at Northwest Hills United Methodist Church. Regularly participating in the many children’s and youth activities and events over the years at Northwest Hills has filled their lives with tremendous joy. She is a former 8th-grade science teacher and professional ballet dancer, and she used her experience to start a dance ministry at Northwest Hills 13 years ago. She is excited to be serving as the Children’s Events Planner this summer, especially during this time where there has been so much uncertainty in all of our lives. Sharing the good news of Jesus’ love with children is an opportunity that she is eager to fulfill. Heather loves meeting new families and sharing with them all that Northwest Hills has to offer.
Jordan Burchill is the contemporary worship leader at Northwest Hills. He grew up leading worship in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, and has been a worship leader and full-time musician for the past 12 years. Jordan earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz guitar at the University of North Texas and is also a gifted singer-songwriter. He has won numerous awards for his songwriting, and recently one of his songs was featured in an Academy Award-winning film. When he’s not serving his church family at Northwest Hills, you can find him performing with his wife as their duo Beth // James, playing locally in Austin, and touring the country.
Nathan comes to us from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. At Northwest Hills, he directs the chancel choir and handbell choir at the traditional tervice. Nathan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from The University of the West Indies and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Texas State University. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Texas at Austin where he directs the University Chorus and Tenor/Bass Chorus.
Dr. Mirim Kim
Mirim is the pianist and organist at Northwest Hills UMC and serves primarily at our traditional service. Originally from South Korea, she has served as a church pianist since 2004. Mirim graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in the spring of 2020 with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano. She currently resides in Austin with her husband.