Darryl Thornton is the Chief Administrative Officer for the St. John Church where he is responsible for church administration. He is a Certified Church Administrator (CCA), SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), Senior Professional in HR (SPHR) & Certified Speaker & Executive Coach with The John Maxwell Team.
Thornton’s professional leadership includes senior management roles with BELO, DFW International Airport, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Frito-Lay Inc., & Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Thornton has held leadership positions on various Boards in the DFW community and currently serves on the boards of The University of North Texas (UNT) & Grace Preparatory Academy. He is a life member and former National Board Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
A graduate of the UNT, his executive education includes the UNC– Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School & the Wharton Business School.
Thornton has been recognized by The Minority Business News of Texas as an Influential African American and has received a number of awards including the University of North Texas Distinguished Alumnus from the College of Business Administration. He is the author of Enough is Enough: A Wake Up Call to Men.
Darryl and his wife Yvonne have three sons, Frederick, Joshua, and Micah and four grandchildren. Darryl’s favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) “I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.”
Chief Financial Officer
Rev. Ellis Ford
Assistant Pastor & Minister of Member Services
Reverend Ellis Ford has seen the St. John church through many of its stages. He’s been on staff since 1996 as Assistant Pastor and continues to serve in that capacity to this day. As Assistant Pastor and overseer to all pastoral care services, Rev. Ford spends his days visiting the sick, praying with the hurting and counseling couples and those who have lost loved ones. He also works with all the ministers at St. John and helps to handle the flow of the worship services.
Rev. Ford has been married to Laverne Ford since 1960 and together they raised five children. On the educational front, Ellis studied Business Administration for two years at Contra Costa College in San Pablo, CA. In 1962, Ellis was ordained as a Deacon in the church. He became a licensed minister in 1976 and was ordained in 1984. He spent 19 years as superintendent and 10 years as deacon at Ever Ready Baptist Church in Richmond, California. before taking on the position as Assistant Pastor with the St. John Church Unleashed. He continues to regularly attend workshops and conferences to aid in his continuous growth in the various areas of ministry, including, leadership, ministry development and evangelism.
Rev. Ford’s hobby is gardening. He was a great high school basketball player and it is still his favorite sport. When picking up a book to read, his most frequent and favorite choice is, of course, the Bible.
Rev. Ford’s favorite scripture is no surprise given his role in the kingdom, 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Rev. Daryl Atkinson
Associate Pastor of Counseling and Teaching Assistant
Reverend Daryl M. Atkinson currently serves as Associate Pastor of Counseling and Teaching Assistant for the St. John Church. He received his BA in Practical Theology from Howard Payne University and his MA in Marriage and Family Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rev. Atkinson was born in Grayling, Michigan and at the age of five his family moved to the DFW area, and calls Irving, TX his home city.
Rev. Atkinson resides in the City of Arlington, where he is joyfully married to the lovely Kanitha L. Atkinson, and they have three delightful children Curtis, Kaleigh, and Kennady. Daryl’s favorite scripture reference is Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Rev. Elena Carraway
Youth Pastor and Global Missions/Outreach Pastor
Reverend Elena Carraway has served as an active member since 2000 and on church staff since 2010. Currently, she serves as the Youth and Global Missions & Outreach Pastor. She is a mother of three young adults and is a native of Los Angeles, California.
Rev. Carraway holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, with a minor in Communication and Language Arts from California State University at Long Beach, a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education and earned a dual Master of Arts in Global Leadership and Student Ministry from the Gary C. Cook Graduate School of Leadership at Dallas Baptist University. Rev. Carraway holds certifications in Urban Studies, Cross Cultural Communications, as well as Leadership and Organizational Management. In an effort to continue her development, Rev. Carraway is pursuing an advanced professional degree in Intercultural Studies.
Rev. Carraway’s favorite scripture reference is Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not confirmed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may provide what is that good, and acceptable and perfect, will of God.”
Rev. Steven Littlejohn
Associate Pastor of Ministry & Teaching
Reverend Steven Littlejohn currently serves as the Associate Pastor of Ministry & Teaching for the St. John Church. Rev. Littlejohn has had the opportunity to serve in a variety of areas over the years including Adult Discipleship, Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry. Rev. Littlejohn previously served as Youth Pastor of the St. John Church.
Rev. Littlejohn is a native of Midland, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work from Prairie View A&M University and a Master’s Degree in Christian Education from Dallas Baptist University. Rev. Littlejohn completed course work at Dallas Theological Seminary and is now pursuing a second Master’s degree in Management at Dallas Baptist University. He has been married to his college sweetheart, Tiffany for the past 20 years and they have two wonderful children. Rev. Littlejohn’s favorite scripture is Psalm 139: 23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Dr. Clark W. Joseph
Minister of Music & Worship Arts
Dr. Clark W. Joseph serves as the Minister of Music & Worship Arts at the St. John Church. He earned BM/MM degrees in Piano Performance at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, MS in Education from Fordham University, and a Master of Theological Studies from Southern Methodist University (SMU) Perkins School of Theology. He was awarded the Doctor of Ministry from Bell Grove Theological Seminary in Louisiana. Finally, he has earned the Doctor of Worship Studies degree at Liberty University in Virginia.
He has traveled the United States and overseas presenting at the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Conference and SMU Perkins School of Theology. He has served as the Music Minister for National Baptist Convention USA, National Baptist Convention of America, and currently co-conducts The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) Black Music and Civil Rights Concert at the Meyerson Symphony Hall, working with many music industry notables.
Under the leadership of Dr. Clark W. Joseph, the St. John Music Ministry has released two recordings and was the featured choir on the projects of Bishop Richard White and Ian Craig & GidIAN’s 300. The St. John Music Ministry has received numerous awards to include the How Sweet the Sound (HSTS) Dallas Regional Winner, HTSC Dallas Regional Runner-Up, People’s Choice Award and HSTS National Hopeline Award, and participated as a contestant in the HSTS National Finale in Los Angeles, CA.
Clark received the AMR Foundations’ Life Time Achievement Award, KHVN Radio Choir Director of the Year, and Irma P. Hall Theatre Awards Best Musical Director. He is the Texas State Fair Choir Director, a member of National Association of Negro Musicians, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, Gospel Music Workshop of America and the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses.
Clark’s favorite Scripture is Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Minister of Christian Education
Ramona Smith-Johnson has been a staff member since 2001 where she serves as the Christian Education Director. Her duties consist of overseeing the Adult/Discipleship Ministries, provides direction to the Children Ministry, Vacation Bible School, and Spiritual Growth opportunities.
Ramona has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Southern University. Her calling led her to pursue a Masters of Arts in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary. In 1984, Ramona married Rodney Johnson and they have two children. Her favorite books are He That is Spiritual by Lewis Sperry Chafer and Wake of the Wind by J. California Cooper. Ramona’s favorite scripture is Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Her favorite pastime consists of completing jigsaw puzzles.
Minister of Operations & Human Resources
Glenda Gregg is the Minister of Operations and Human Resource at St. John Church. She joined the St John Church staff in 2001, where she also serves as the Staff Financial Assistant. Additionally, Glenda manages the Growing In The Spirit Bookstore, Divine Delights Cafe and Media Duplication Team. She has been a member of St John since 1984.
Glenda is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a BS degree in Accounting. Some of her work experience includes Bank of America, Department of Defense (Education Services) and H&R Block.
She has been married to Andrew Gregg since 1970. They have three sons and five grandchildren. Glenda loves cooking and entertaining friends and family. Her favorite scripture is Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Minister of Volunteers and Strategic Projects
Donna Craddock serves as the Minister of Volunteers and Strategic Projects. Her job is to ensure all ministries, ministry leaders and volunteers are taken care of and also to coordinate church and event scheduling along with other strategic projects. Donna is an Omaha, NE native and the youngest of 8. She joined the St. John staff in 1999 and is an active participant in the Women’s and Singles Ministries. She has also served in the Outreach and Youth Ministries.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Iowa State University, Donna realized science was not her heart’s priority and decided to work towards her passion of serving others. She graduated from the Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University with her Master of Arts in Christian Service.
One of Donna’s favorite past time activities is reading. Some of her favorite books in addition to the Holy Bible include, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster, Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery by Na’im Akbar and Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.
Donna’s favorite scripture is Philippians 4: 6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Director of Special Events and Facilities
Cheryl Richardson is the Director of Special Events and Facilities for St. John Church. She has been a member of St. John since 1997. She has diligently and faithfully served as a volunteer in several ministries including Hospitality Ministry, Sunday Morning Breakfast and New Members Orientation. She also developed, coordinates and leads the Pastor’s Table Sunday Morning Breakfast.
Cheryl joined the SJC staff in 2013 as Director of Special Events and Facilities. She provides leadership for all the St. John Church locations for Hospitality Events, Weddings, Food Ministry, Sunday Morning Breakfast Ministry, Decorations Ministry and Special Events Ministry. She also operates as the Facility Director for all locations and manages security, building and ground maintenance, renovation projects, and designs the layout and set schematics for special events.
Cheryl is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. She is a Subject Matter Expert in the Food Service Industry and specializes in food preparation to menu development and Child Nutrition programs.
Cheryl was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Her favorite scripture is Isaiah 40:28-31. Her Hobbies are Decorating, Reading, Baking, and Traveling.
Cheryl is a member of Global Association of Christian Hospitality Professionals with an Administration Certification. She volunteers with Mercy Chefs, a Ministry which deploys to areas in the United States providing meals to those affected by disaster. She also serves as Board advisor for Tarrant County Community College Dietetics program.
Operations Assistant/Assistant Director of Membership Record
Michelle Pennie-Davis joined the St. John Church staff in January 1997. Michelle has previously worked as a Youth Administrator Assistant, Youth Activities Coordinator, Children’s Church Teacher, Usher, New Members Orientation Director/Teacher and Youth Praise Dance Leader.
Michelle received her Associates of Applied Science in Business Administration from Everest College in Arlington, TX and her B.A. in Business Management from Northwood University in Cedar Hill, TX.
She is married and enjoys game nights with her family, dancing, dining out, and traveling. Her favorite books are The Bible, The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and Eat Your Way To Life And Health by Joseph Prince.
Her favorite scripture is “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
Children’s Worship Coordinator, Grand Prairie Campus
Sean joined the Children’s Worship Service (CWS) team as a volunteer in 2014, prior to becoming a member of the staff in 2018. Sean is proud graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, where he met his wife, Catina. They have been married for 20 years. They joined the St. John Church in 2003, when they move to the DFW area. Since then, their family has grown. They have one son, Seth, who is a member of the mime team and twin daughters, Sarah and Simone, who are members of the praise dance team and children’s choir.
He earned his M.Ed. from The University of Texas at Arlington and serve as a school administrator for the Arlington Independent School District. In his spare time Sean enjoys woodworking and building furniture. He is a third generation educator. His family has served the community in that capacity since 1938. Above all, Sean desires to do God’s will and be relevant in kingdom building. Sean’s favorite scripture is Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
Children’s Worship Coordinator, Southlake Campus
Media Engagement Coordinator
Arnelle Woods joined the St. John Church in May 2001 and has served in various ministries. Joining the St. John Church staff in 2018, Arnelle serves as the Media Engagement Coordinator. In this role, she is responsible for assisting with the creation of faith-filled content for St. John’s digital and social media platforms. Additionally, she assists in providing oversight of all aspects of media production for the St. John Church while identifying ways to create engaging virtual social experiences. In tandem with her staff responsibilities, Arnelle provides leadership to the Ignite Young Adult Ministry and God’s Angels of Praise Dance Ministry.
In addition to serving a member of the St. John Church staff, Arnelle also works for the City of Dallas. A lifelong learner, Arnelle has earned an AA in Liberal Arts from Cedar Valley College, and both a BA in Political Science and Master of Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University (MSU). Arnelle is pursuing a Master of Divinity at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary.
Arnelle takes joy in working for the St. John Church and City of Dallas while finding new ways to give back to the local communities within the Dallas-Fort Worth region. As a student at MSU, Arnelle became a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Professionally, Arnelle is a member of the International City and County Management Association and National Forum of Black Public Administrators.
Arnelle’s favorite scripture is James 1:2-4, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
Yuleici (pronounced U-lacy), has been a member of the St. John staff since 2004. She currently serves as the Office Coordinator. She is the front-line administrator of Pastor Davis Office, Membership Services, and is often the voice you hear on the other end of the phone during business hours.
Yuleici have attended the St. Church for over 38 years. Since her lifetime at St. John, Yuleici has participated and served in the Youth Ministry, Victorious Disciples Ministry, Outreach Ministry, Children’s Ministry, Dance Ministry and the Marriage Ministry.
She has attended Tarrant County College. She is married to Brian Francis and has four children and one grandchild.
Yuleici’s favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”