He is a life-long member of the AME Church (St. Paul AME Church, Independence, MO. and Mariah Walker AME Church, Kansas City, MO.) and has served the local church in many capacities. Johnny’s job transferred him from Kansas City to San Antonio, Texas in May 1978. There he served as President of the Local Laymen Organization, Trustee Board Member, Men’s Day Chairperson, Church Homecoming Chairperson, Sunday School Teacher, Class Leader, and Pro Tem of the Emmanuel AME Church Steward Board, San Antonio, Texas.
Johnny served as the Southwest Texas Conference Lay Organization as President for (6) six years, 1st Vice-President for the Southwest Texas Conference Lay Organization for (8) eight years, 2nd Vice President of 10th Episcopal District Lay Organization for (4) four years, and President of the 10th Episcopal District Lay Organization (8) eight years. He served as 3rd Vice President of the Connectional Lay Organization for the AME Church. Johnny was elected as a member to the AME General Conference: 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020. Also, he served as a member to AME Church General Board and served on sub-committees for the General Board. After joining Smith Chapel AME Church, he was appointed to the Smith Chapel AME Church Board of Stewards.
Mr. Tellis is currently a member Smith Chapel AME Church, Dallas, Texas after relocating from the Southwest Texas Conference to the North Texas Conference of the 10th Episcopal District in January 2000 after accepting employment with Paul Quinn College Dallas, Texas.
Many honors and awards have been bestowed upon Johnny, they include United States Immigration Service Commissioner’s Award for Promoting EEO, For Services Rendered to Emmanuel AME Church, Austin Police Department Services Rendered, U.S. Justice Department INS Special Achievement Award, and Lay Speaker Awards.
Mr. Tellis is married to Barbara Jean Porter-Tellis of Cameron, Texas and have two (2) Children: Tiffany and Michael and (5) five grandchildren: Devon Michael Tellis, Jordan Michael Evans, Deja René Tellis, Diego Godoy and Dominic Tellis.
10th District Historiographer