Maple Grove United Methodist Church welcomed its new pastor, the Rev. Michael Ford “Mike” Bailey on July 11.
Bailey is a fourth generation minister in the Methodist tradition. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and raised in parsonages, primarily in the Memphis area. He has served churches of all sizes including four rural circuits, urban, suburban, town, small, middle sized and very large congregations and even a congregation in Northern Europe.
In July, 2021, he retired from the full-time practice of ministry as the district superintendent for the United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem.
He was educated at Lambuth University, Vanderbilt University, the Graduate Theological Union of San Francisco and Columbia Theological seminary. His wife is Lauralee Davis Bailey. The couple has been married 40 years and have two daughters and two sons, all happily married.
They have nine grandchildren and another on the way early next year. Lauralee Bailey received her education at Appalachian State University. She has worked in a large number of settings, most recently in foundation, planned giving and development offices for the United Methodist Church as well as health care foundations.
Throughout their marriage she has appeared in numerous musical theater productions, TV commercials and print ads. Currently, she is in the cast for the Gershwin revue "'S Wonderful" now playing at the HART.
The Baileys live at Lake Junaluska. They can be found each Sunday at Maple Grove United Methodist Church, 79 Maple Grove Church Road, just off of Russ Avenue in Waynesville.