Pastor Bruce Thalacker

Senior Pastor

Pastor Bruce Thalacker has been Senior Pastor at South Canyon since November of 1986. He was ordained in 1979 and has served parishes in Hosmer, SD and Sioux Falls, SD. He is a graduate of Concordia Senior College and Luther Seminary.

Pastor Bruce is married to Janet and they have three grown children: Sara Turner, an attorney in Birmingham, AL; Kate Schmidt, a nurse in Rapid City; and Scott, a Lutheran Pastor in Logan,Utah. He is the proud Papa of eight (soon to be nine) grandchildren.

He enjoys the outdoors, is a Green Bay Packer fan and hasn't met a hobby he doesn't like (fly tying, wood carving, guitar playing, travel, etc.)


Pastor Roger Olness

Supply Pastor

Pastor Roger Olness graduated from SDSU as a Professional Chemistry Major and worked as a research chemist for Sinclair Oil in Chicago prior to his calling to be a pastor.  He graduated from Luther Seminary and was ordained in 1963, serving parishes in Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

He is married to Helen and has three grown children and six grandchildren.

He enjoys reading, photography, and especially following their grandchildren in their activities and performances.

Please welcome Pastor Olness to the staff and both of them as members of South Canyon.


Linda Black

Pastoral Care Coordinator

Linda and her husband Joel moved to Rapid City from St. Paul, Mn in the fall of 2014.  Linda had spent 20 plus years working with children as a preschool teacher and director and then, after completing seminary in 1998, as Director of Children and Family Ministries.  She joined the staff at South Canyon in June.  Linda also sings in choir and enjoys hiking and biking in the Black Hills.  Linda and Joel have two adult children living in St. Paul.


Lori Brey

Nursery Attendant



Matt Christiansen

Youth Ministry Coordinator

This is Matt's first youth ministry gig, and he's been on staff at South Canyon Lutheran since 2014. Before youth ministry, Matt was a graphic designer in the Sioux Falls area. He and his wife, Melissa, are blessed daily by the youth of Rapid City and love working with them. When he's not attempting to herd South Canyon Lutheran's 6th through 12th graders, Matt enjoys hiking and exploring the Black Hills and wood carving.


Deanna Darr

Small Groups Coordinator

Deanna Darr spent more than 20 years as a newspaper editor, in addition to stints at local nonprofit organizations and as youth director at South Canyon. She rejoined the staff in 2014. Deanna also serves as director of Kids Against Hunger in Rapid City. She and her husband, Les Wermers, have three grown children and one grandson.



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Ellie Hinseth




Kim Horsley

Assistant Secretary

Kim has worked at South Canyon Lutheran as a secretary and previously the custodian for 8 years. She has been married to her husband Bob for over 30 years, and they are parents to five children and grandparents to one granddaughter.


Linda Jensen

Kitchen Coordinator

I am so grateful to be serving the Lord and his people here at South Canyon Lutheran Church. It is a blessing to work with the staff, the volunteers, and the servers each week.

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Tristan Rosson

Office Manager

Tristan came on board as Office Manager in January, 2017. She is passionate about being part of a team, and feels beyond blessed to work alongside the wonderful people at South Canyon Lutheran Church.



Kristi Wellendorf

Childhood /Adult Education Coordinator