Pastor Scott McKirdy

Pastor Scott has been serving the Spearfish Church since 2011. Born and raised in the Dakotas Conference, he loves to preach, teach, and connect people much more closely with God. With a degree from the University of Jamestown (North Dakota), he was originally a music teacher before entering ministry. Since earning his Master of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology in 1990, he has served four parishes around North and South Dakota. He is married to Colleen. Together they have two adult daughters: Grace (married to Eamon and currently living in Thailand) and Emma (married to Ben and currently living here in Spearfish). Scott loves music as he plays tuba in the community band and guitar during worship. In the summer he’s all about gardening. In the other seasons he loves life in the local church while also planning for the next international mission trip.

Orvette Stepper
Administrative Assistant
Orvette is the Administrative Assistant at the church and has been employed at the church since May of 1998. She has thoroughly enjoyed her position at the church since the very beginning. She loves helping people with answers to their questions and sharing information about events at the church. She joined the Handbell Choir at the church about 13 years ago and has enjoyed learning how to play and perform with the group. Orvette was born in Deadwood, SD and is the oldest of six children. She has three children, Connie, Naomi and Jeremy who are all married and together she has six grandchildren. Orvette has also lived in Las Vegas, NV for over 30 years and in Juneau, Alaska for almost four years but Spearfish has always been home for her.

Brenda Swanson
Youth Director
A native of Platte, SD, Brenda has been a west-river girl since attending college at BHSU where she met and married her husband, John. She has been youth director at Spearfish UMC since 2003 when her own children were in the youth groups.  She and John have three grown children: Anthony, Nathan and Carrie along with two daughters-in-law: Tristany and Janna and two beautiful granddaughters: LyRic and Haroe. When she is not leading youth she helps on the family ranch and enjoys gardening and reading.

Stacy Sandgren
Financial Assistant
Stacy serves as the Financial Assistant, a position she has held since October 2018. She and her husband, Terry, relocated to Spearfish after spending five years in Bismarck ND. They have four kids, two grown sons, Jamie and Jordan, one daughter, Hannah, and one younger son, Tugger. She also has two grandchildren, Paxton and Kellen. She graduated from Bison High School and earned a Business Administration degree from Dickinson State University. In her spare time, she and her family love to camp, hike, and explore the beautiful Black Hills.

Kevin Nakajima
Church Technology Coordinator
Kevin holds the position of Church Technology Coordinator, but also serves the church with his voice, both in the choir and through solos. Born in Prescott, AZ, he moved to Vale, SD just before high school, then attended Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD for Vocal Music and History. He came to Spearfish in Early 2017 to take care of his parents. He participates in the Northern Hills Chamber Chorale and the Black Hills State University Community Band. In his free time, he enjoys movies, television, reading, and walking in nature.
Children's Ministry Coordinator

Colleen McKirdy
Choir Director
Director of Children's Music
Colleen serves as adult choir director, children’s music leader, and “Gathering” worship pianist. She also teaches private piano lessons and accompanies music students at Black Hills State University. She and her husband Scott have two grown daughters, and have lived in various communities in South and North Dakota. Colleen holds degrees from Northern State University and the University of Denver. Her hobbies include reading, crocheting, scrapbooking, making music, and Star Trek. Colleen is also a certified yoga instructor and leads a yoga class at the church.

Barbara Elving
Handbell Director
Barbara has spent many years singing, playing instruments, including handbells, and directing/teaching handbells and children's music across the country. She just finished serving on the Board of Directors of Area 7 Handbell Musicians of America as the South Dakota Sub-Area Chair, is a board member with Bells of the Hills where she handles marketing/promotions, acts as an educational liaison with area schools, and has been a ringer since their founding. She and husband John met at a Church Music and Worship Conference in California. It was their love of being crazy and also their love of God and the work He had for them that brought them together.
Emma McKirdy-Wilsey
Emma is a musician and teacher here in Spearfish, serving in many roles around the community. As a pianist and organist, she holds the “Sanctuary” organist position here at the church and accompanies in many other places around the Black Hills. She also teaches piano lessons from her home and from The Music Room. As well as teaching piano, she is a literacy paraprofessional in the local kindergarten, Mountain View Elementary. She holds Bachelor and Master degrees in piano performance from Simpson College and the University of South Dakota. Emma enjoys participating in local music ensembles, reading, and cuddling with her cat, Rachmaninoff. She is happily married to Benjamin, and together they have a beautiful daughter.

Carrie Swanson
Nursery Supervisor
Carrie is a graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD. She received her babysitter's certification when she was twelve years old and has enjoyed working with children ever since. She started babysitting her younger cousins and has been involved with children and youth ever since. Frequently she helps out on Wednesdays with the youth group and enjoys helping out with Vacation Bible School in the summers.In her free time, she likes spending time with her family and watching her nieces. She enjoys doing crafts, everything from painting to knitting, to embroidery. Carrie always looks forward to spending time with your children on Sunday mornings and sharing God’s love with them!

Barry Penn