Rev. James D. Bailey
(Pastor, Glendale Baptist Church)
Story furnished by Clarence Crocker

Of the 136 year history of the Bivingsville/ Glendale Baptist Church, Reverend James D. Bailey was the second longest serving pastor of the twenty three who have served. Pastoring for 22 years from 1906 until September 1927, he was exceeded only by Reverend Timothy L. Hottel who served 37 years from 1947 to 1984. He was serving as Pastor when the second Church building was built in 1907 and continued to be used until it was replaced in 1958.

Ordained to the Gospel Ministry at the age of 23 in the Macedonia Baptist Church September 6, 1885, Reverend Bailey was considered a genuine student of the Gospel, history in general and the Revolutionary war period. He wrote numerous articles on the subjects. He was considered a fluent, compelling speaker and an intriguing writer. In researching Glendale history, I have run across 2 or 3 niblets of his writings. Three popular books of his writings were: “Commanders of King’s Mountain”, “History of Grindal Shoals”and “Heros of the American Revolution”.

Up until the mid-1900s, most rural and many village churches did not have a full time Pastor. The Pastor would oft time serve two to four churches at the same time, rotating hours and days of service. In the early 1900s, Pastor’s salaries ranged from $50 to $100 per year. In the 1920s, their salary had increased to $150 to $200 per year, which in most cases required the minister to have other sources of income. Rev. Bailey was a farmer as well as a Pastor. Records show that one of his sons worked on the railroad, one was a store clerk while the younger managed the farm. While at Glendale, he was serving three other churches. Bivingsville/Glendale Baptist did not go to full time service until late 1940s.

According to records which I have seen, the young man, James D. Bailey, married Miss Susan Kirby from the Whitestone area about a year before he was ordained into the Gospel Ministry. They became parents of nine children, six living; Preston H, Mary B, Fred H, Monroe B., Nettie I. and Jonathan. Rev. Bailey designed and built his family home, shown below, which was located on highway 29 entering Cowpens, now known as South Main Street.


Following are excerpts from his two column obituary which was published in the Spartanburg Herald on September 6 and The Spartanburg Journal, September 7, 1927:

“Baptist Pastor and Historian Dies at Cowpens: Just as he finished 42 years serving as a Baptist Minister, The Rev. J.D. Bailey died at his home September 6, 1927 in Cowpens. He had been in declining health for several months but had continued to serve the Churches of which he was Pastor until last Sunday when he suffered a stroke of paralysis.

Rev. Bailey had served Churches in Spartanburg, Union, York and Cherokee counties during his long ministry. He had served as Pastor at Cowpens for nearly 30 years. His first three churches were located in Union county and were Putman, Skull Shoals and Brown’s Creek. At the time of his death, he was serving as Pastor of the White Plains, Glendale, Midway and Beaver Dam Baptist Churches. He had conducted the annual Revival services at the Churches and had filled his regular appointment on the Sunday before his death, August 28, 1927.

 He had served as Moderator of the Broad River Association for 21 years. He had attended every session of the Association for 42 years, his first absence occurring this summer due to illness.

His funeral is to be held today (Wednesday September 7, 1927) at the Pacolet Station Baptist Church, conducted by Rev. H. C. Martin of Cowpens, assisted by Rev. D.P. Montgomery of Greenville. The following are to serve as pallbearers: Dr.W.L. Ball, Spartanburg, Dr. R. C. Granberry, Gaffney, Rev. C. A. Kirby, Gaffney, Dr. J. S. Dill, Greenville, Rev. A. L. Vaughan, Cowpens, Rev. B. E. Hill, Spartanburg, Dr. John G. Clinkscales, Spartanburg and Rev. L. M. Rice, Union. Interment to follow in the Church Yard Cemetery.

He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Susan Bailey, Cowpens; by four sons, P.H. Bailey, Saluda, N.C. , F.H. Bailey, Cowpens, M.B. Bailey, Arlington, Mass., J.C. Bailey, Cowpens; two daughters, Mrs. Elmer Martin and Miss Irene Bailey, Cowpens; one brother, W. M. Bailey, Spartanburg; two sisters, Mrs. Iris Brown and Mrs. Bernice Hames, Pacolet; fourteen grandchildren also survive.”

 Mrs. Susan M. Bailey died November 1931.

 Obituaries courtesy of Spartanburg County Library. Clarence E. Crocker , June 2012

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