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.

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.

Barry Penn

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.

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!

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.

Katie Clark, Children's Ministry Coordinator
My name is Katie Clark and I am from Valley City, North Dakota. I am transferring from Valley City State University where I studied Elementary Education. I will continue my education at Black Hills State University where I will double major in Special Education and Elementary Education. I am very excited to start here as the Children’s Ministry Coordinator.
I am looking forward to getting involved with both the church and the university. Some activities that I was involved in at my last church were singing on the praise team, helping with VBS, serving on CCYM in high school, volunteering at church camp, and working at the coffee kiosk in our parking lot. At the university I played tennis and was part of multiple different clubs and organizations.
I look forward to what’s next in my new adventure. God has definitely steered me in this direction of leadership and ministry for a reason.

Mary Tracy, Financial Assistant
Mary was born in Isabelle, SD. Her father was a Methodist minister so her early years were lived in several South Dakota communities; Timber Lake, Faith, Alexandria, Onida, and Hitchcock.
She obtained her Bachelor of Arts at Augustana University in Sioux Falls and later her Masters in Business Administration at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She has held several positions in accounting such as accounts payable, receivables, general ledger and has managed compensation, human resources, payroll and benefits. Her background also includes project management for installation of human resources, payroll and benefit systems.
She and her husband Mark recently moved to Spearfish from Windsor, Colorado, which is half way between Mary’s family in South Dakota and Mark’s family in the Denver area.

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 Hawaii) and Emma (married to Ben and currently living here in Whitewood). 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.

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.

Sue Cole
Choir Accompanist
Sue Cole, our choir accompanist, attended the University of Wyoming earning a B.A. in Music K-12 and K-8 Elementary Education. Her Masters work was in Guidance and Counseling. She taught third grade and music in several places in Wyoming as boom and bust cycles affecting schools RIFd the arts first.
She started accompanying choir in junior high and accompanied choirs and played for churches in several communities in WY. She has sung in Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village, WY and in Carnegie Hall with the Wyoming State Choir. She sings with the Northern Hills Chamber Chorale and is a member of the Quilters and Crafters of our church.