NASHVILLE, Tenn.––The Strength for Service Board of Directors invited the Rev. Charles (Ray) Bailey, former brigadier general and deputy chief of U.S. Army chaplains, to become the 11th member of the board.
The board met Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 at the office of the General Commission on United Methodist Men.
A graduate of Texas Wesleyan University and the Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University, Bailey was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church in 1981, and became a chaplain in the U.S. Army. During his 34 years as a military chaplain, Bailey served in Grenada; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Iraq; Alaska; Germany; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Fort Jackson, S.C.; Italy; Liberia; and Afghanistan.
In 2011, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and named deputy chief of chaplains based in Washington, D.C.
Bailey retired from the Army in 2015 and was named associate general secretary for administration and operations for the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
In other business the non-denominational board:
- Learned that 26,107 copies of Strength for Service to God and Community and 4,144 copies of Strength for Service to God and Country were distributed in the first nine months of 2016.
- Agreed to expand SFS presence on Twitter, Facebook and other social media in order to increase traffic to the website;
- Agreed to center efforts on providing funds for the free distribution of books rather than book purchases, and will focus on books for first responders in the spring and books for military in the fall;
- Reviewed a song for SFS written by Karen Paparelli, a board member, and performed by Gary Talley a guitarist and singer for the Grammy-nominated “The Box Tops.”
- Approved efforts to seek corporate and individual sponsorships
- Learned that Lydia Istomina, a minister and author from Russia now living in Kansas, is unable to continue as a member and secretary of the board. That leaves one vacancy on the 12-member board of directors.
- Celebrated the employment of Ashley Heeney as a part-time SFS staff member.
- Expressed appreciation to Morris Dennis, a World War II veteran and founder of the Dennis Paper Company, for providing storage space for Strength for Service
- Expressed gratitude to Bobby Smith, a staff member of the United Methodist Council on Finance and Administration, for linking the Home Depot Pro Xtra Loyalty program with SFS. The program gives 3 percent of sales by registered users to the ministry. In 2016. Home Depot gave $62,480 to SFS.
Announced two new advisory committee members: Charles Krulak, a retired four-star general and president emeritus of Birmingham Southern University, and David Poston, a retired lieutenant of the Louisiana Army National Guard and commanders of transportation units deployed during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. There are 12 members of the advisory committee.