Longtime UCC journalist the Rev. J. Martin Bailey was honored Friday when the press room of General Synod 28 was dedicated in his name.
The Rev. Gregg Brekke, UCC news director, gathered current and former members of the press working GS28 outside the press room in the Tampa Convention Center and read a proclamation recognizing the 50 years of service to the UCC by Bailey and his wife, the Rev. Betty Jane Bailey.
A plaque will be attached to the door of Room 1 for the duration of GS28.
Brekke noted that this was the first General Synod that Bailey has missed since the formation of the United Church of Christ in 1957.
"Throughout his career and well into retirement, Martin has been an example and a mentor to many of us," Brekke said.
"We want to take a moment to recall his eagerness for the work of journalism, his joyful spirit, his dedication to telling the truth of the church, even when that was difficult, his unwavering support for an independent news service in the UCC and his passion for journalistic excellence."
A 1954 graduate of Eden Seminary (where he and Betty Jane met), Bailey said his greatest passion has been working for peace in the Middle East. The Baileys have written numerous books and thousands of articles. The most recent book is Who Are the Christians in the Middle East (Eerdmans, 2010).
From 1963 to 1982, Bailey served as editor of the United Church Herald and A.D. Magazine. He has been the co-chair of the Media Working Group of the Middle East Forum, director of development for Worldwide Faith News, and the media consultant to Interfaith Communities Today.
The Baileys are members of Union Congregational UCC in Montclair, N.J.