She officially begins March 5 at the traditional joint Ash Wednesday service with First United Methodist Church. Her first Sunday in the pulpit will be March 9.
She succeeds the Rev. C.V. “Bo” Scarborough, who retired last summer.
Bailey also serves as the Presbytery of the Mid-South’s interim director of campus ministries at The University of Memphis.
“Julie is a dynamic preacher and leader, and we are overjoyed that she will be joining us,” says Linda D. Scholl, clerk of the session of the 186-year-old church. “This is certainly a unique and exciting arrangement that we feel will bring us new worship and service opportunities, for which we are known.”
Bailey is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga. Her husband, Davis Bailey, is pastor at Buntyn Presbyterian Church. They have two young daughters.
Julie and Davis previously served as associate pastors at Evergreen Presbyterian Church.
Says Bailey: “When I received the invitation from First Pres, I thought it was too good to be true: I get to pastor a church with a long-standing record of living out its faith in Memphis, while continuing with Presbyterian campus ministries at The University of Memphis. I am overjoyed, humbled, and excited. God never ceases to amaze me. I look forward to working alongside the members of First Pres in this new era of its ministry.”
Established in 1828, First Presbyterian Church has been located at the corner of Poplar at Third since 1834. It is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Noted for its urban outreach, the church conducts a sit-down Sunday soup kitchen, clothes closet, birth certificate and state voter i.d. programs for the homeless, and provides space for SNAP (food stamps) assistance during the week.
For further information, please contact church administrator Diana Veazey at