Our Staff


013Lead Pastor Greg Kroger
 
I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, through this congregation. I’ve been a United Methodist pastor since 1987. During the years since then I’ve served in variety of local church and conference level appointments. This includes an earlier appointment as an associate pastor of this congregation from 1992-1999.
 
My hometown is Canton, SD, where I graduated from high school. I went on to complete a bachelor’s degree at Oral Roberts University, followed later by a Master of Divinity at Sioux Falls Seminary. My wife, Joyceann, and I met as summer employees at the Wall Drug Store in Wall, SD. We’ve been married since 1980. We’re the parents of two adult sons – Karl (wife, Michelle and daughter, Maisie plus son, Mitchell) and Kaleb. I love to hike, bike, kayak, and ski (cross country and downhill). Sharing those activities in group settings is always great.
 
I am very excited to help lead Rapid City First UMC in its mission of making new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the Rapid City community and our world. My life verse is found Matthew 6:33, “Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I enthusiastically seek to keep this focus before our growing Rapid City First UMC family.
 
Contact Greg at greg@rapidcityfirst.org
007Jason Christensen – Discipleship Coordinator
Jason Christensen was born on a cattle ranch near Spearfish. Jason was raised and confirmed in the Lutheran church in Spearfish. After graduating from Spearfish High School in 1992 he studied at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He was active in Campus Crusade for Christ as the vice president. It was here that he found Jesus Christ. He married Janet Carmichael in June of 1996, then graduated from Northern in August of 1997. Jason joined the Methodist church in Sturgis in 1999. He served on the finance committee, taught Sunday school, sang in the choir and participated in the reenactment of the Last Supper. The couple had their two children while living in Sturgis. In 2004 they moved to Gillette, Wyoming, where Jason took a job as a logistics tech for a surface coal mine. Jason always felt that he needed to be doing more for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
 

In the fall of 2007 the family moved to Meridian, Idaho and joined the Methodist church there. Jason and Janet were active in small groups and later began leading small groups in that church. Jason served once again on the finance committee. After the economy crashed in 2008, the family came back to South Dakota, moving to Wall. Jason took what jobs he could find, but still was searching for his place in advancing the kingdom of Jesus Christ. In the fall of 2011 the family returned home to Meridian, Idaho. By December of 2012 Jason had accepted a position in the Meridian United Methodist Church as the Minister of Adult Discipleship. In this position, he led bible studies, did some preaching and led people to Jesus Christ. He helped with outreach projects and was the Church Liaison for the City of Meridian. For the first time, Jason felt that he had finally found his role in Making Disciples for Jesus Christ.

In September of 2015, God called Jason and his family home to South Dakota, eventually being called to First United Methodist Church of Rapid City. He is excited to be here with you all and looks forward to getting to know all of you and the adventure that is before us of Making Disciples of Jesus Christ.

 
Contact Jason at jason@rapidcityfirst.org

010Lori Miklos – Children’s Ministries
 
Lori is a Rapid City transplant having moved here originally from Bossier City, LA. She and her husband Quint have two sons, Steven and Jonathan, and have been members of Rapid City First since 2000. After spending a few years in Texas, they returned to Rapid City in 2006. Lori accepted the newly-created position of Director of Children’s Ministry in July 2007. Since then our “Miss Lori” has been growing the programs of our preschool through fifth grade children. Lori is excited about continuing to partner with young families and our many adult volunteers to introduce our children to Jesus and the church!
 
Contact Lori at lori@rapidcityfirst.org
006Jerry Simmons –  Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. 
 
Jerry Simmons began his ministry here with our youth in July 2016. Jerry and his wife, Kristina have two children, Tatum and Wesley. He is originally from Texas, spent ten years in the Air
Force and has been a youth minister in both Texas and Rapid City. Most recently, he was the assistant director and head cook at Pioneer Camp and Camp Rimrock.
 
Contact Jerry at jerry@rapidcityfirst.org

009Glynis Becker – Administrative Coordinator
 
Glynis began attending First Church in the early 1990’s during her time at the SD School of Mines. Over the years, she has been part of ministry teams, has taught Sunday school, Wednesday Night Live and VBS, and has sung with the contemporary praise team since its beginning. Now she is very excited to share her passion for Bible study, growth and fellowship as the Administrative Coordinator of First Church. Her family includes husband, Ryan, and two children, Danae and Jackson, as well as her parents, Alan and Kay Buhler, who also attend church here.
 
Contact Glynis at glynis@rapidcityfirst.org

005Bill Waugh – Business Administrator
 
Bill became the Business Administrator for First Church in April of 1999 after retiring from Nash Finch Co. His career with Nash Finch consisted of store management and mid-management positions including District Manager for western SD and the panhandle of Nebraska. He has a BS degree in Business Administration. Bill and his wife Peggie are members of the church and have been since the mid-seventies. They have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
 
Contact Bill at bill@rapidcityfirst.org

001Diane Ketel – Organist
 
Diane notes, “Teenage years in our rural northeastern SD community provided lessons for service to our small church through music. Our supply pastor was a professional musician who directed the church choir giving us lessons in music and living that led me to DWU and the University of Oregon. At First UMC our sanctuary provides fine instruments in an aesthetic environment. Music in our worship gives us text and melody for praise, contemplation, dedication and action. I am pleased to be part of that!”
015Parker Knox – Organist
 
Parker Knox grew up in Onida, S.D., and graduated from Huron College. He was a teacher for 18 years in Wessington Springs, Huron and Blunt and then the first eight years of the new Sully Buttes district at Onida. For 17 years he was publisher of the weekly newspaper in his hometown, and for 20 years he worked for the Pierre Daily Capital Journal as an editor, reporter and columnist. In retirement he lived in Rapid City in 2004-2007 and served as gospel choir accompanist here then. From 2007 to 2013 he lived in Vermillion and worked as a church organist, high school sports reporter and accompanist at the USD music department. He returned in 2013 to Rapid City where three of his children and all four grandchildren live.
004Dr. James D. Feiszli – Choir Director
 
Dr. Feiszli holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree (University of Mount Union), a Master of Music degree (University of Akron), and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree (Arizona State University). From 1983 until 2016, Jim was Director of Music at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; creating and administrating the music curriculum for the university. His music ensembles performed at professional music conferences, competitions, and concerts in the U.S. and internationally. He also chaired the Humanities Department at SDSMT.
 
Dr. Feiszli is the founder of ChoralNet, a global network of choral musicians. He served as its executive director for nineteen years prior to its merger with the American Choral Directors Association in 2010 and continued to direct ACDA’s technology efforts until 2012. Listed in the International Who’s Who in Choral Music, Feiszli is the recipient of the Rushmore Honors from the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, the Meritorious Service Award for the SD usic Educators Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award from ACDA, the Outstanding Professor Award from SDSMT, and the Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation.
 
Contact James at jfeiszli@gmail.com
 
002
Brady Wichman – Praise Team Leader
 
A native of Huron, SD, Brady discovered modern worship while attending Minnesota State University Moorhead. While at University, he spent a summer as a camp counselor – learning to play the guitar and leading worship – at Shores of St. Andrew Bible Camp in New London, Minnesota. In 2012, he moved his wife Amber, son Cade and daughter Danika from Brookings, SD, to Rapid City to take a position at Assurant. Since moving to Rapid, he has lead worship at Project Church as well as Calvary and South Canyon Lutheran. In September 2016, Brady began leading the worship team at First UMC.

011Bev Shaw – Care Coordinator

When I first became a member of Rapid City First United Methodist Church, I was the mother of a baby girl.  She is now the mother of two little boys, making me a thankful, happy “grandma”.

During those 30 plus years, many changes have occurred in my life.  My parents and siblings are now in heaven, and there have been other cares and concerns as well.  Not only was my church family there with love and support during times of loss, but also there to share in celebrating the joys of two new babies, our daughter’s wedding, etc.

The seasons change for each one of us.  We all go through difficult, challenging times sooner or later.  As a church family and as the body of Christ in the world, we are to share one another’s joys and burdens.  

As Care-Coordinator, I am available to assist our parishioners in whatever way I can.  Sometimes it may be to merely listen and pray with someone, perhaps read scripture and share an encouraging word, or assist in finding the right person or means of care during a time of need.  As Congregational Care Teams develop within our church, part of my job is to train, equip and prepare volunteers to serve.

Even though change is all around us, we must never lose hope, for there is one thing that will never change.  We can know for certain that we are forever secure in the One our Heavenly Father sent to save us — Christ Jesus.  He’s our Champion!
 
008
Margot Burton
 
003Shirley Wood – Receptionist
Shirley is a long-standing member of our church and began serving as our receptionist in the summer of 2016.
014
Rick Gilson – Custodian
Rick takes great pride in keeping our facility clean and ready to host Sunday worship as well as the many studies and community activities that take place each week.
Ryan Becker – Web / Media Tech
 
Hello, my name is Ryan Becker. I have been a member of First United Methodist Church since 1997. I joined the Praise Team that same year and have been part of this church ever since. This church has been an enormous blessing to me. I met and married my wife, Glynis, here at church and have had the privilege of raising two wonderful children, Danae and Jackson, here as well. My day job as a photographer has afforded me the opportunity to tell many of the stories of this church (Christmas plays, Vacation Bible Schools, Confirmations) in photos and video. I continue to be blessed by our church with opportunities to grow in my faith through worship, bibles studies and small groups.
 
Contact Ryan at ryan@rapidcityfirst.org