07/18/06 — Longtime News-Argus editorial columnist dies at home

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Longtime News-Argus editorial columnist dies at home

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on July 18, 2006 1:47 PM

Dr. A. Purnell Bailey, whose column has appeared in this newspaper and others across the country for well over half a century, died Sunday in Fredericksburg, Va.

He began writing "Our Daily Bread" for the "Stars and Stripes" while serving as chaplain for Gen. Douglas McArthur in World War II.

He was a longtime friend of Mount Olive College.

Ordained in the Methodist Church, he served pastorates in six churches in Virginia and was district superintendent for the Richmond District -- the largest in the Methodist denomination.

During his final years as an active minister, he was in charge of Methodist chaplains throughout the world. He also served as chaplain of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

A longtime friend of retired Mount Olive College President W. Burkette Raper, Dr. Bailey visited him in person and by telephone on a number of occasions. He also conducted revivals in Mount Olive.

Dr. Bailey was educated at Randolph-Macon College, Duke Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary in Richmond; the Union Theological Seminary in New York and the Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Lou Sheffield Bailey; four daughters; 17 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a brother. One daughter, Anne Page, lives in Raleigh.

Memorial services will be held at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Saturday, with visitation an hour before and after the service.