Anniversary: ‘Daily Bread’ began 60 years ago today
It began Oct. 4, 1945 — 60 years ago today. A new column appeared in the Stars & Stripes. It was called “Daily Bread.” And was written by A. Purnell Bailey, who was serving as General Douglas MacArthur’s chaplain in Tokyo.
A member of the general’s senior staff had suggested a “brief, encouraging message of faith” for the benefit of the nation’s GIs.
Dr. Bailey has been writing “Daily Bread” for every day of the week ever since. It appears in newspapers across the nation.
Purnell Bailey has strong Wayne County connections. He has been a long-time supporter of Mount Olive College. Over the years he has donated a number of books to the school which will receive his entire library from his estate.
His Mount Olive connection goes back to the days he and retired Mount Olive College President W. Burkette Raper became friends at Duke Divinity School. Bailey had come there for postgraduate studies.
He visited Mount Olive on a number of occasions and conducted revivals at the Methodist Church there.
Dr. Bailey attended Dr. Raper’s retirement dinner at the college and was present for the Boy Scout Distinguished Citizen Banquet honoring Raper.
During World War II, Dr. Bailey served as chaplain for the First Cavalry Division and went to Tokyo as General MacArthur’s chaplain after the Japanese surrender.
It was he who took ex-premier Tojo to the hospital following his attempted suicide at the beginning of the occupation.
After the war, Dr. Bailey served as pastor of a number of churches and for six years was superintendent of the Richmond District — largest in Methodism.
He also has served as chaplain in the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives and the Virginia General Assembly. For nine years he was chief of United Methodist Chaplains worldwide. He and his wife, Betty Lou, live in Fredericksburg, Va.
Dr. Bailey has remained active physically, mentally and in a number of organizations — including the Kiwanis Club.
And the “brief encouraging message of faith” he began 60 years ago today has been an inspiration to millions — in and out of uniform — ever since.
Published in Editorials on October 4, 2005 9:18 AM