My name is Elissa Bailey and I am so excited to start in November as your Temporary Supply Associate Pastor. I was born and raised in Iowa. I graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology with an emphasis in counseling. Immediately following college, I moved to Dubuque where I began my Master of Divinity degree at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. I graduated from UDTS in 2008 and began as the pastor at the First United Presbyterian Church in Bushnell, IL in the summer of 2009. This was also when I was ordained as a PCUSA pastor.
During my time as a pastor in Bushnell, I have been active in the local ministerial association and worked to serve all people in Bushnell, especially children. Working with the local organizations, we made it priority to feed children both on the weekends and during the summer. Our church also owns and operates a community center that sees it as part of its outreach to host open gym hours so that youth in our community have a safe and caring environment to be after school is out for the day.
When it comes to ministry, I have three passions. I love serving for and with children and youth, I have a passion for pastoral counseling, and I love polity! In addition to serving as the pastor in Bushnell, for the last six years, I have been the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery. Polity is very life giving to me as well and look forward to continuing this area of ministry alongside my ministry at Second Presbyterian.
While living in Bushnell, I began and grew a family. My husband, Don, and I have been married for seven years on October 15th. Our daughter, Grace, will turn six years old in November (and is very much looking forward to her birthday!). Our daughter, Sophia, is four years old. Our youngest, Mitchell, just turned one in August. In addition to our three children, my husband also brought three adult children into our marriage. I am the proud stepmother to my stepson, Drew, who lives in Machesney Park and my stepdaughter, Jenny, who lives in Loves Park with her husband, Eric, and our beautiful grandchildren, Maddie (5) and Dominic (5 months). I also have a stepdaughter, Emily, who is a world traveler and is currently living in Liverpool, England as she works on her second Master’s degree. In addition to all of our children, my niece, Arora, who will be twelve in October, also is currently living with us. Our home is always full and we love it.
Three other very important things to know about me are: I love singing and listening to Christian music, I love reading, and I love coffee… gourmet coffee with fancy flavors. I always have a Keurig in my office that is on and fully stocked. So, feel free to stop by into my office for a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate) and for a chat! I look forward to meeting you all very soon.
Pastor Elissa Bailey