Mandi Cornett, Women’s Ministry Leader for Liberty Bible School of La Porte and Cleanse.Fill.Pour., has always found solace in her faith through thick and thin. Now, she’s spreading hope to the women in her community through faith, love, and friendship.
Born and raised in Chesterton, Cornett attended Chesterton High School. She was involved in the school choir and show choirs, but her real passion was in her local youth group at Liberty Bible Church.
“I attended Liberty Bible Church my whole, entire life,” Cornett said. “I was kind of like a, “you ask me to jump and I’ll ask how high,” kind of person. I believed that Jesus Christ was a real person and I thought I was just a really good person. But I didn’t realize that I was not perfect until I went to Taylor University.”
After graduating from Chesterton High School in 1987, Cornett attended Taylor University in Upland, Indiana for two years. There, rather than continuing on a path of a faith that was almost expected of her and wasn’t truly her own, she found her own personal need for a faith that was hers during freshman year of college.
“My foundation was built at Liberty Bible Church, but I really came into my own faith when I was 18-years old at Taylor,” she explained. “I’m extremely grateful for that foundation, but I also love that my faith became not just my parent’s faith or my church’s faith, but my faith.”
After leaving Taylor, Cornett married her husband of now 27 years, John, and had her first child. She finally hit a stride in her faith while in college, but just like every journey, there were a few hiccups along the way.
“I finally came into my own faith when I was 18, so I believed that that meant then I was going to grow up and find a great guy and we were going to kind of have the ‘Christian Cinderella Story,’” Cornett said. “But life just was harder than that. Marriage was harder. Being a mom was hard. And so I kind of hit a wall when I was 25 and I felt isolated.”
That’s when she joined her first bible study and it changed her life. Cornett went from feeling isolated and felt the world on her shoulders, to feeling hopeful and loved.
“I truly believed that I was the only Christian, married woman with a child who felt isolated, and in that time I started believing a lot of lies,” she said. “But when I started digging into God’s word, my whole perspective changed and so did my life.”
Seventeen years ago, she and her family moved to La Porte and for years, traveled back and forth between La Porte and Chesterton to attend Cornett’s childhood church, Liberty Bible Church. But five years ago, a new branch was planted in La Porte.
“So we kind of came back to our roots at the Liberty Bible Church in La Porte,” Cornett said. “And the opportunity arose to become the Women’s Ministry Leader about four years ago.”
Cornett’s responsibilities as the Director of the Women’s Ministry comes down to making connections. Events like the Movie Night bring women throughout the community together to enjoy good food, a good movie, and some good conversation. Her work in the ministry revolves around connections, faith, and community.
All of this has come naturally to Cornett, and for over 20 years, she has been teaching about faith throughout the community through Bible Study and her own ministry, Cleanse.Fill.Pour.
“I started Cleanse.Fill.Pour. about 10 years ago,” she explained. “I run four weekly classes, write bible study curriculum, attend retreats and conferences a lot of weekends, and I also do one-on-one appointments.”
Cleanse.Fill.Pour. is a ministry for women around the community that is designed to bring women together through encouragement and strength. This has been Cornett’s goal for the past 20 years; to empower women through faith who may feel alone and isolated, just like she did years ago.
“This is why I do what I do in Women’s Ministry, “Cornett said. “I think there’s a lot of women who believe the same things I did: that they’re the only ones who struggle or feel overwhelmed with life. I just want to walk alongside other women and introduce them to Jesus and help grow in what God’s word has to say about who they are.”
When Cornett is not teaching Bible Study or working with women to find their faith, she is reading and trying to hit her FitBit steps goal.
“So much of what I do involves sitting and writing, so I’ve really been into trying to get all of my steps in!” Cornett said. “But I also love to read historical fiction and Christian nonfiction. My favorite book is “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers.”
Cornett is also spending time with her family: her three children, her two grandchildren, and her husband, John, who has supported her every step of the way.
“I have always had the support from my husband, John,” Cornett said. “When I was sure that I wanted to go into teaching the Bible and ministry fun time, he told me, ‘I’m so glad you finally decided to do this!’”
So are the women in Mandi Cornett’s community. Her work since the beginning has brought women who are struggling with life and faith together to show that they are not alone and has shown Cornett that she is right where she should be.