Jim Bailey is founder of Second Stone, a ground-breaking national newspaper for LGBTQ Christians which began publication in 1988. He served as editor and publisher until 1998.
Early in his career Bailey transformed a high school hobby of photography into a busy commercial studio. After attending Delgado College and Tulane University where he studied business administration, he served as an administrator for Catholic Charities of New Orleans at a residential treatment center for learning disabled/emotionally disturbed youth.
In the mid-80s, Bailey's love for media and graphic arts resurfaced. He worked for a time as a designer, first for Cox Newspapers, then for the corporate advertising department of one of the South's largest retail distributors.
In 1988, three years into his first same-sex relationship, and during a time when AIDS was ravaging the gay community, the idea for Second Stone came into being. After a visit to the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, Bailey began putting together thoughts for a spiritual resource for the LGBTQ community. For a decade, editing and publishing Second Stone was a labor of love.
During his youth he attended a Southern Baptist Convention congregation, where he was baptized at age 12. Later he joined a Baptist Missionary Association fellowship and helped develop a congregation in Louisiana. He taught Sunday School at the new church for three years. Then, in 1986 at age 32, Bailey was questioned by his pastor about his male partner of one year. Although encouraged by many in his congregation to continue his work there, Bailey parted ways with the church.
After a time of self study and with the encouragement of a friend who was a Lutheran pastor, Bailey joined a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Love Lutheran Church in New Orleans.
Bailey has served in the ELCA in significant ways. He has been elected numerous times to serve as a voting member to ELCA Churchwide Assemblies and Synod Assemblies. He had served on the Synod Councils of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod and the Rocky Mountain Synod.
At the 1997 Churchwide Assembly, Bailey urged nervous voting members to endorse the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation. The assembly voted 712-180 to endorse ENDA, the largest margin ever for any vote favorable toward LGBTQ persons at that time.
For over two decades in the ELCA, Bailey fought for ordination rights of LGBTQ persons and was present at the 2009 Churchwide Assembly where LGBTQ pastors came into full ordination rights.
WhenSecond Stone ended its run in 1998, Bailey served as Media/Public Relations Director for the City of New Orleans' Healthy Start Project.
In 2001, Bailey was elected to the founding board of directors of the Institute for Welcoming Resources.
Bailey retired in 2005 and now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his husband, Paul, and their cat, Misty. He is a member of Christ Lutheran Church, Santa Fe.
(This biographical statement provided by Jim Bailey.)
Biography Date: October, 2004; rev. February 2020
Baptist | Author/editor | Gay Liberation Movement | Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA)