About Our Staff

Meet Shawn, Senior Pastor

My name is Shawn Cornett and I am the Senior Pastor here at Griffith First Christian. I am married to Shannon and we have a son named Jonathan. I am a graduate of Lincoln Christian College in Lincoln, Illinois and have done post-graduate work at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. I have been the pastor here with GFCC since May of 2007 and we love serving God here!



Other tidbits of info:

  • My wife Shannon is also a graduate of Lincoln Christian College. 
  • I am a huge football fan. I root for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers. 
  • I also root for the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Blackhawks. 
  • You can follow me on twitter. www.twitter.com/ShawnLCornett
  • I blog at The Lavished Pauper at shawncornett.wordpress.com.
  • You can friend me on Facebook at facebook.com/ShansMan.
  • I grew up in Crown Point, Indiana. 
  • I studied acting at Indiana State University before transferring to Lincoln in 1996.
  • I have been to Haiti on a short-term mission trip. 
  • My wife Shannon played college basketball and was VERY good. 
  • We got married on the day after Christmas in 1998. 
  • We have previously served congregations in Atwood, Illinois and Forest Lake, Minnesota. 
  • I was ordained in 1997 at Town and Country Christian Church in Crown Point, Indiana. 
  • My favorite book of the Bible changes from time to time, but it is usually Romans or 1 John. 
  • The first book I ever preached was Philippians. 
  • My favorite Disney character is Dug from "Up".

Meet Brandon, Associate Pastor

My name is Brandon Rukes, and I am the Associate Pastor here at GFCC. What does that look like? In a major part, my job breaks down into two main categories... worship & groups.


I consider myself to be more than just the guy on stage, but the lead worshiper. This is because I fully believe that it is my great opportunity and responsibility to bring people into God's presence on a Saturday evening or Sunday morning (or any other time we meet), and realize that I am merely a fellow brother in Christ, coming alongside you to worship.


I also consider myself to be more than just the groups director, but a fellow brother in Christ who is in the same boat as you are. I am currently leading a group on Wednesday mornings, and I attend two groups on Sunday afternoons & Wednesday evenings. I find it so important to get involved in a Connection Group because life transformation happens best when you're growing with friends together.


I look forward to chatting with you before or after a service, or sometime during the week to get to know you better. But in the meantime, here are a couple things to know about me:


  • I am married to a beautiful woman, Celina, who helps challenge me to always do better.
  • I have one beautiful daughter (Bella), and another daughter (Anna) on the way shortly!
  • I have lived in Griffith nearly all my life, and I have been attending GFCC since I was enrolled in the God, Me, & ABC Preschool.
  • I have two cats, Merlin & Sargent Fluff.
  • I graduated with a degree in Accounting & Finance.
  • My favorite Disney Character would have to be Genie from Aladdin. 

Meet Shari, Children's Pastor

Shari Sarnecki is our Children's Pastor.

Shari is a graduate of Lincoln Christian College (now Lincoln Christian University).

She is married to her husband, Marc.

Grammy to 2 amazing grandsons!


Here is some more about Shari:


  • I graduated from High School in 3 years! 
  • My family is full of active Ministers in FL ~ father, brother, both nephews and my niece! 
  • I love giraffes! 
  • I love football and watching my #3 Russell Wilson play since his rookie season! 
  • I love the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks! 
  • I am a Hershey's with Almonds fanatic! 
  • My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving .... no one expects anything except giving thanks, family, food and football! 
  • I have a habit of using an exclamation mark excessively!  
  • My favorite Disney character is Cinderella!  



Meet Sarah, Communications & Office Manager

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah Dillard. I was born and raised Catholic and it wasn't until July 2019 that I felt I needed to step away from Catholicism and try a different path. My path ended up leading me to GFCC. I love working as the Communications and Office Manager for GFCC because I feel like I am doing something worthwhile. This job allows me to be creative and put a "Sarah-Spin" on things. I love my team and feel so grateful God blessed me with this amazing opportunity. Some fun facts about me:

  • I have been married for 13 years.
  • God blessed me with girl/boy twins (Audrey and Ethan) and a younger daughter (Ava). They are my world. 
  • We have two elderly and disabled fur-dogs. We also have a fur-cat. 
  • I graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature, Writing, and Film. I went on to pursue my Master of Arts degree in English from Northern Arizona University and graduated in 2015. 
  • I'm originally from Southern Illinois. My family moved up to NWI once I graduated High School. Right after my husband and I got married, we took off to Arizona and lived there for six years. I miss the desert everyday. 
  • I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know who I want to be, and to me, that's more important.
  • I've been a vegetarian for five years now. I just feel bad for the animals. 
  • Our family loves baseball! We are the most loyal and devoted STL CARDINALS fans you will ever meet. 
  • Integrity, authenticity, and empathy are super important to me. 
  • New York City is my favorite vacation spot. Some people like the sound of the ocean. I like the blaring car horns and sirens. 
  • My favorite Disney character is Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I admire her ability to see past what's on the outside and fall in love with someone who is beautiful from within.