With heavy hearts the Cornerstone Athletics family announces that our friend Johnny Teis entered into glory with our Lord and Savior Jesus Thursday, April 21. Johnny had been battling brain cancer for the past year and lost his fight peacefully in his sleep in Gravette, AR.
Johnny and his brother Robby served as ball boys to the Men's Basketball program for 2 years before moving to Arkansas. He loved the game of basketball and had a lot of fun being included in the program. But, as the Lord would teach us, having Johnny connected with our program wasn't as much for his benefit as it was for ours. From this courageous little boy we saw the Spirit of God. We saw how faith could be lived out and how God could be glorified through personal testimony and tragedy. Johnny and the whole Teis family often reminded us that "God is good".
The 2010-11 Men's Basketball season was dedicated to Johnny. During every huddle, before and after every practice, and in every game, the team would gather together, raise their hands and say "For Johnny!" Also, green Johnny's Army tee shirts and wrist bands could be seen throughout the Hansen center during game days as students and fans paid tribute to their ball boy.
Head Coach Kim Elders reflects, "Johnny was a special boy who we loved very much. He was a huge part of our team as a fan and ball boy over the last 4 years. His life inspired us to fight and never give up, to enjoy life and to never take anything for granted. We mourn for his loss, but rejoice that he's in the arms of Jesus forever. He will always be on our hearts and minds."
Emotions ran high as the Men's team made a run all the way to the National Championship in Branson, MO while Johnny and the Teis family cheered from the front row. Without blinking an eye, Tournament MVP Caleb Simons received his trophy and ran over and gave it Johnny. When asked why he did it Caleb responded by saying…"Johnny was our inspiration, he was the real MVP for our team".
Cornerstone Athletic Director David Grube exclaims that "never in our wildest dreams did we anticipate the impact this little boy and his family would have on us, on our basketball team and our community. The strong testimony and strength of the Teis family has been inspiring, humbling, and has changed all of us who have been privileged to watch from a distance."
Although our hearts are broken right now but we rejoice in the fact that today, at this moment, he is with Jesus. Philippians 1:21says: For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Thankfully, because of Johnny and his family, we've been blessed to witness what that means.
Cornerstone will be holding a Memorial Service for Johnny on Monday, May 9th at the Hansen Center in Mol Arena. Family visitation will be at 5pm and a celebration service will begin at 6pm. Casual attire is recommended and the family has requested attendees to wear green (Johnny's favorite color).