Pastor & Staff

Michele Slott


Pastor Michele Slott serves as Open Heart’s “Pastor in Charge” as of July 1, 2020 while continuing to also serve Rapid City First UMC as the Pastor of Outreach & Family Ministries, spending much of her time there in youth ministry.

Prior to full-time ministry, Michele pursued a career in graphic design and marketing communications.

Married to her husband Rodger since 1998, they have two teenage sons, Cayden and Dylan, with dogs, Crash and Pongo, and cat, Mittens, rounding out the family.
For the Sundays when Pastor Michele is away, she has assembled a UMC preaching team to serve Open Heart, including pastors Sharla McCaskell, Doug Diehl, and John Britt, lay speaker Richard Wahlstrom, and the SW District Superintendent, Rev. Bob Ruedebusch. Others pursuing or exercising a call to ministry also provide pulpit supply.



Eli is a graduate of Rapid City Stevens High School, has attended Western Dakota Tech, and owns his own photography business. Eli has a heart for people and animals and is very skilled in all tech matters.



Sheila Paulus has been a member of Open Heart for over 15 years with most of that having been involved in the music ministry through vocals and guitar. Sheila has also being working in the office during the week, focused on bookkeeping duties. She enjoys bringing people together, promoting the  Free Little Pantry, and helping with  Circle of Friends. 



Shelby grew up in Open Heart UMC (while it was know as South Maple), and was baptized and confirmed here.  She is a graduate of the University of South Dakota, and has a love for children, cooking, gardening, and studying anthropology.  Shelby demonstrates the ability to share the love of Jesus with children of all ages. 

adam burnison

Solar Oven Partners workshop manager, worship Tech specialist

Adam found his way to Open Heart UMC in 2019 and has since been invited to help serve as the Solar Oven Partners Workshop Manager and assist with worship AV needs.  

linda pottorff

music, altar design, & Custodial services

Linda has been a member of Open Heart for over three decades, and has a passion for music, creating beautiful worship spaces, and leading small group studies.  Our most recent creative altar designs are created by Linda.  She also plays the piano for many of our traditional worship services, and helps keep the church clean and tidy.   

Forrest Wilson

Av & tech Specialist

Forrest is a fairly new member of Open Heart, who has a passion for music and technology. He has his BA in Music Industry from Chadron State College. Forrest is originally from the Black Hills, but has recently moved back to Rapid City from Montana with his husband Levi.