Using Graphic styles is definitely a great idea! It gives you great control and you don't even have to outline your text so you can keep it editable. Stick to that idea!
Create an object. Then use Appearance panel to add strokes, fills and effects...
About the image: no need to use clipping paths (assuming you want a repeatable image). What you could do is to create a new pattern out of it. Choosing a seamless image could be handy here.
Import your image, embed it, open the Pattern options panel and create a new pattern. It is now added to your swatch Panel. Select your object fill and apply this pattern to it.
Finally, select your object and create your Graphic Style (by dragging into your panel or by clicking "New Graphic style".)
You can now apply this Graphic Style to your text or objects. Cool ^^
More infos about creating a Graphic style can be found here: https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/graphic-styles.html
If you experience trouble with the Pattern part, you can read this: https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/patterns.html
See the example below (in French but I'm sure you can figure it out):