Michelle has been an inspirational voice on The JOY FM Network since its inception in 1986. She is currently on the air on The JOY FM evenings and Sunday mornings for Warm Up for Worship. She is also a radio host on 5 other radio stations in 7 states daily.
Michelle and her husband John have worked with young people in our region for over 35 years. In 1989 they went full time with Youth for Christ, and have also been youth pastors at a number of churches and are the founders of The Front, a young adult outreach ministry in Bradenton, Florida. (www.thefrontflorida.com) They have a passion to see this generation step into their God given destiny!
John and Michelle married in December 1983, and have been blessed with 6 children, 3 amazing grandsons! They fostered and adopted two of their beautiful girls and Michelle is very passionate about foster care and adoption. She has a dream of seeing every child in our state who needs a family placed in a Christian home!
Up Close and Personal with Michelle Tellone
God has rescued me and done so much in my life, I don’t even know where to begin. I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, yes, I’m a native! My parochial school upbringing gave me a reverence and respect for God but I never understood that He wanted a personal relationship with me. After seeing some hypocrisy in the church and hurt in my own life, I made some really wrong choices. In eighth grade I was on the student council, straight A’s and a cheerleader and by tenth grade I was failing and pulled out of school. I went to work full time for my family in a men’s clothing and tux rental business. During that time my music was so important to me. I would win prizes from radio stations all the time and always thought that radio would be the greatest job in the world!
When I was 17 I went to Europe for three months with my grandparents. Even though I hadn’t given my life to the Lord yet, that trip had a profound effect on me. I met relatives from the other side of the world. I saw castles and Roman ruins and history like never before and I decided I wanted to do something with my life. I came back and took my GED and radio broadcasting license test and started at St. Pete. Junior College. After working in college and volunteer radio for a while I landed a part-time position at 102.5 FM, which was a dream come true at the time! I soon went from part-time to full time and became the music director. In the natural so much was going for me, I had a condo on the water, a brand new car and I had just been voted top female announcer in Tampa Bay by a local magazine. The drugs and partying in the secular music industry was unbelievable. For a 20-year-old tenth grade dropout I was making good money, but I remember feeling so alone, empty and unfulfilled. I didn’t like who I was.
Around Christmas time of 1981 I cried out to God and told Him I couldn’t live my life without Him any longer. He honored that desperate prayer and came into my life. After that it seemed that everywhere I went I met Christians who God used in my life. The Bible became so alive to me. God was speaking directly to me through His love letter! Through a co-worker at the radio station, I met my future husband. He had the same background as me and God was just beginning to do a work in his life as well. We were close friends for a year and went to church together. Then something changed and we realized we were meant for each other forever! December 3rd, 1983 we were married. Although I was still working in secular radio, I had written a term paper in college about the music industry and how the music we listen to affects us. Through that term paper doors opened in many churches to speak to teens. We were going all over the state, sometimes twice a week to share. The closer I became to the Lord the harder it was to work at the radio station.
I remember listening to a Christian radio station, WCIE, through the static and hearing that they were pregnant with a new radio station for our area! As God would have it, in May of ’86 we had a staff meeting at 102.5 and we were told that our station had been sold and we could lose our jobs. I was pregnant with our first child at the time. When I walked out of that meeting that day, on my desk was a message from the station manager of The JOY FM. God opened the doors for me to be a part of The JOY FM from the start in June of 1986. I’ve worked just about every air shift in these past 30+ years and currently am on the air in the evenings and Sunday mornings. It’s so wonderful to be able to play music that offers people hope and life! I am also privileged to be on the air at a couple of our sister stations, weekday mornings at Family Friendly WAFJ in Augusta GA and evenings at 88.3 The Wind in Springfield, MO.
LightForce on The JOY FM Network was a radio show birthed in August of 1986 and my heart was to reach this generation with cutting edge Christian music and intense topics. Now Lightforce has morphed into a positive hits and hip hop station called LF Radio that’s 24/7 at lf.radio. God cares about what we listen to and spend our time with and so much in the secular media is destructive. Young people need to know that they have a destiny in Christ!
Jesus has filled that empty place that was in my heart. He has blessed me with a wonderful husband who loves the Lord. He is a worshipper who for years has been training up worship leaders in our community. John and I are blessed with six beautiful gifts from Him! Elisha (who is married to Krispy Kreme), Joshua, Caleb, Crystal, Hannah, Angelina and the most amazing grandsons ever, Kieran and Eason. Plus lots of other kids who we’ve taken in and made a part of our family! I am very passionate about foster care and adoption and have a dream of seeing every child in our state who needs a family placed in a Christian home.
Our love for teenagers has continued and after years of ministry with Youth for Christ and as youth pastors at a number of churches in our area, God birthed a non-profit outreach call Whole Hearted Youth years ago. We pastor WHY Outreach, now known as The Front, and gather weekly for deep worship, the Word and many outreach opportunities (www.thefrontflorida.com) The Front opened up May 2003 in a shopping center and we are amazed to see what God is doing there! It’s so incredible to see the Lord rescue and transform lives! He has done it for me and I know He longs to do it for you! Just ask.
Things you may not know about me:
- Jesus is my passion!
- One of my favorite quotes "Make me a fuel flame of God" Amy Carmichael
- Fav movie: Sound of Music (the original)
- Fav music: everything from Skillet to Bethel!
- I'm reading about 6 books right now along with my Bible. I especially love reading books on prayer and revival!
- I have a tribe of 6 amazing kids & and three grandbabies and I have been have married to the love of my life for 38 years!
- I am a strong advocate of foster care and adoption. We have fostered and adopted two of our beautiful girls.
- My husband and I are pastors and run a young adult ministry called the Front, an outreach in our city.
- I've been in radio since I was a teen. My first interview was Mike Love of the Beach Boys.
- I've held a Koala (they're not as soft as you'd think) and fed Kangaroos!
- We have a big Siberian Husky/English Mastiff named Ezra, a blue eyed, white Siberian Husky named Micaiah and two horses, Narnia and Majesty,
- Favorite verse: "The Lord your God is in your midst, He is mighty to save you. He exults over you with joy, He quiets you in His love, He rejoices over you with singing!" Zephaniah 3:17