• Jon Sarlea, Elder

    Jon Sarlea is one of our Elders at GFCC. He was raised going to Catholic church until he was 17, when his mother sadly passed away. Jon walked away from his faith for a time, until he met his wife, Mindy. They were invited to the First Christian Church of Lansing, where Jon eventually became a Sunday School teacher, trustee, and elder.  

    Jon is excited about serving as an elder at GFCC because he wants to see the church grow. He longs to see people grow in their faith and become Christians that have a firm understanding of their faith and what ideas are Biblical and what are false.

    Jon is married to Mindy and they have one daughter, Leilani, who is a freshman at Purdue. One of the highlights of Jon’s life was baptizing his daughter during a service. He has served his community as a Hammond police officer since 2006.

  • Ron York, Elder

    Ron York was born in Hammond, IN and raised in Griffith. He attended Griffith Jr. High and Griffith High School. He married his wife Marcia in June of 1969 and they have one daughter together. 

    Ron is a veteran. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam. He was discharged in 1972. After leaving the Army, he worked at Inland Steel for thirteen and a half years.

    Ron served at Black Oak Church of Christ as a Deacon and then as an Elder. Ron also preached when needed and taught and served as a youth leader. In 1985, he had a burning desire to preach the gospel and entered Florida Christian College, where he graduated in 1990 with a degree in preaching. While in college, he worked with a church in a weekend ministry. Since leaving college, Ron has served with three churches as Sr. Minister. He also continued his education to earn a Master's Degree in Sacred Literature and a Doctorate in Theology.  

  • Jeff Blaesing, deacon of hospitality

    Jeff began his hospitality experience when he ran a Bed & Breakfast in North Carolina. Taking care of customers and ensuring their stay was wonderful was his job daily. Jeff moved on to running various restaurants dealing with customer service and restaurant roll-outs. Aside from company directives, Jeff planned meals, hired employees & dealt with hospitality daily. Jeff joined a plumbing company in NWI in 2007, and rose to the ranks of Operation Manger of the company. Jeff handles all company calls, service and accounting.

  • Shannon cornett, deaconess of the gfcc ministry center of new elliott

    Shannon Cornett serves as the Deaconess of the GFCC Ministry Center of New Elliott. She became a member of GFCC when she moved to Griffith in 2007 with her husband, Shawn, and son, Jonathan. She grew up in Normal, IL and was baptized at the age of 8 at College Park Christian Church.

    After graduating from University High School, Shannon attended Lincoln Christian College in Lincoln, IL where she received a Bachelor Degree in Youth Ministry. She served as Associate Minister at the Atwood Christian Church for 2 ½ years before changing career paths. She has held a variety of jobs in many different places over the years including basketball and scholastic bowl coach (Atwood, IL), Athletic and Outreach Ministry Intern (southside of Chicago), Inner City Ministry Intern (St Louis), Customer Service Manager and Director of Graphic Arts for a floor care equipment company (Decatur, IL), State Farm insurance sales rep (Forest Lake, MN), and Phlebotomist (Grand Forks, ND). While her husband was serving at the Forest Lake Christian Church in Forest Lake, MN, Shannon went back to school and earned an Associate Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT). She then worked as an MLT at Children’s Hospital (St Paul, MN) and Alverno Labs (Hammond, IN) and a substitute teacher (Schererville,IN).

    All of those experiences have helped lead to serving at the Ministry Center. This ministry has become a passion of Shannon’s and she cherishes the relationships she has built with both the families she helps and her fellow volunteers. She loves sharing the love of Jesus through this ministry.

  • Jerri Burriss, Deaconess of Global missions

    Jerri Burriss is the Deaconess of Global Missions. Jerri became a Christian in 1962 at the Cedar Lake Church of Christ. She joined the First Christian Church of Dyer in 1978 and served on the missions team there from 1980 until the church closed in 2017. She was the head of the missions team from 2007 to 2017. She has a true passion for missions. She has served on the missions team here at GFCC since 2019, which is the same year she became a member here.

    Jerri worked in HR at Inland Steel for 32 years until her retirement in 2002. She

    then went to work for the American Cancer Society and as a property manager

    for AHEPA (a non-profit home for low-income seniors) until she retired for real in


    While having no children of her own, she has “stolen” lots of her friends’ kids. :)

  • Brandon Rukes, Interim Finance Director

    Brandon Rukes is our Associate Pastor and Interim Finance Director in 2021. He graduated with a degree in Accounting & Finance and brings previous work experience to this role.