Pastor & Staff

Michele Slott


Pastor Michele Slott has been our full-time pastor since July 1, 2022, and had served Open Heart the previous two years, part-time. She comes to us having served also at Rapid City First UMC where she was the Pastor of Outreach and Family Ministries from 2018-2022.

Prior to ministry, it was listening to different friends' stories of hurt, sense of being judged, and overall disillusionment with "institutional church" that led to her call to ministry. She wanted to help foster communities where ALL are truly welcome, and welcomed to grow from where they are at in their love of God, others and self.  Before entering ministry, Michele worked in the areas of graphic design, marketing, project management and fundraising, and has worked for state government, advertising / design firms, a non-profit, a family-owned business, and she has been self-employed (she's on LinkedIn if you want more details).

Michele loves people of all ages and hearing their stories (just know, she may work yours into her next sermon—with permission, of course), and is not afraid to share her own. She enjoys meditating on scripture with those life stories  in mind as she prepares her weekly messages, in an effort to keep things relevant.  Teaching, especially youth, is another one of her passions.

Michele is a mother to two grown sons, Cayden and Dylan, and wife to Rodger.  She grew up in De Smet, South Dakota.



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.


Children's Education COORDINATOR

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. 

Hannah O'Donnell

TotsZone Director

Hannah O'Donnell has lived in Rapid City for almost three years. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelors in Communications. Hannah has experience working with young children in several different settings, and has directed a similar program to TotsZone. She enjoys getting to know other fellow military spouses, but cares for all families, understanding how stressful it can be at times to get all the things done.

"TotsZone is meant to be a place for children to socialize in a safe environment, but my hope is that the families who join our program are able to find support and encouragement too!"

Gene Mason

Circle of Friends Coordinator 

Gene Mason's huge heart and constant strive to make everyone feel welcome are two of his defining features. You will often find him at the church on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Sundays leading and assisting in different groups for Circle of Friends Ministry. Retired after 25 years of working for Black Hills Works and having served as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church, it’s easy to see how this is his current calling. Some of his favorite pastimes when he isn't at the church are gardening, carving gourds, and cross-stitching. 

Rev. Doug Diehl (retired) 

Solar Oven Partners Reflector Workshop - Workshop Manager

Doug’s familiarity with many tools, natural attention to detail, as well as his background as a pastor and teacher with a heart for social justice made him a great fit for the SOP Reflector Workshop. He is also one of about a half-dozen trainers that help groups find their way around the workshop and understand the importance of the reflectors produced in that space. He works nearly every week in the workshop and has trained groups from multiple states, ranging in age from youth to mature adults. Doug also checks pieces for quality control and does the final packing into the custom crates made for shipment. His wife, Dawn, also frequently works with him and helps train others as well. 

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.