Johnny James Elmore, age 88, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, at Ardmore. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in The Chapel at Griffin ~ Hillcrest Funeral Home with Evangelist Kevin Presley officiating. Interment to follow in Hillcrest Memorial Park of Ardmore.


Johnny was born with the name “Sonny Boy” to Joe Elmore and Mollie (Smartt) Elmore on Nov. 28, 1931, at Zaneis, Okla. At the age of five, he announced that his name was “Johnny James.” He attended school at Zita school near Dillard, Okla. The family moved to Ardmore and Johnny graduated from Ardmore High School in the Class of 1949. He attended and graduated from Stamps – Baxter School of Music in Dallas. Johnny married Miss Sally Word in May of 1954 at Ardmore. He later attended college at Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature with a minor in Music. He enjoyed music and singing throughout his lifetime and conducted numerous singing schools nationally and internationally. In 1950, he received his ordinance from Ardmore Church of Christ and began serving the Lord as an evangelist. He took the pulpit in Springfield, Mo., and ministered throughout the state. He moved to Ada, Okla., where the family lived for many years. In 1966, Johnny took a preaching position at Ft. Worth, Texas. In 1973, he moved his family back to Ardmore. In 1987, his work moved them to Lebanon, Mo. Johnny’s ministry as an evangelist took him across the world to Johannesburg, South Africa, and Honduras. In 1993, he returned to First Avenue Church of Christ of Ardmore, where he continued his work for the Lord until his passing. In 1995, he founded and owned “Pathway Books and Bibles.” He was a contributor and editor of “The Old Paths Advocate.” He appeared on many episodes of “Let the Bible Speak” broadcast in Oklahoma and Missouri over the years. Johnny was a published song writer as well as a conductor and producer of albums for the Gospel Lamplighters and the Sunny South Quartet. He was happiest when surrounded by his books and music with a cup of coffee.


He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Sally Elmore, and son, Stan Elmore, oldest grandson, and all his brothers and sisters.


Johnny is survived by his daughters: Joni Elmore of Ardmore, and Kim Kirksey and husband David of Wichita Falls, Texas, grandson, Clay Elmore and wife Abbey, and granddaughters: Hillary Harris, and husband Bear, and Sophie Hamblin, great-grandchildren: Rowan Harris, and Ryker Harris, and numerous nieces, nephews, and a host of extended family and friends.


Visitation will be held on Friday evening, Dec. 6, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Griffin ~ Hillcrest Funeral Home.


Condolences may be left at griffinhillcrest.com.