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2023 CLERGY Ricardo Bailey - Calvary.jpg

The Rev. Ricardo  Bailey

The 7th Rector of
Calvary Episcopal Church

Calvary Episcopal Church in Charleston called the Rev. Ricardo Bailey to serve as rector beginning on Ash Wednesday—February 22, 2023. Previously, Father Bailey served as priest-in-charge of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Decatur, Georgia. He also serves as chaplain to the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church and President of the Atlanta Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians.

Bishop Ruth Woodliff-Stanley shared her joyful excitement for Calvary with this announcement. “I could not be more delighted to call Father Ricardo Bailey to serve as rector of historic Calvary Episcopal Church” said Bishop Woodliff-Stanley. “Since its founding in 1847, Calvary has served as a spiritual anchor in our diocese, raising up generations of leaders who have served our city and this state. Father Bailey’s spiritual gifts and leadership will be a dynamic match for the people of Calvary. I have enjoyed getting to know him as chaplain of the House of Bishops, where he has inspired and guided bishops from across the church. I anticipate this will be a vibrant next season of joyful growth at Calvary, building on the strong foundation of this historic parish.”

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in the Roman Catholic Church, Father Bailey was ordained to the priesthood for service in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta in 2003. Upon leaving the Catholic Church in 2011, he was received as an Episcopalian in the Fall of 2011 by the Rt. Rev. Neil Alexander. In November 2013, Father Bailey was formally received as an Episcopal priest by the Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. He served various schools and congregations in the Atlanta area from the time of his ordination until he was called to serve as priest-in-charge of St. Timothy’s, Decatur in 2018.

As he prepared to move to Charleston for this next chapter of his ministry, Father Bailey shared his overwhelming joy. “To say that I am excited to come to serve Calvary is an understatement!” said Fr. Bailey. “I am humbled to be called to be their next rector. I know I will be on holy ground and I pray that as we were redeemed on Calvary over 2,000 years ago, Calvary Episcopal Church will lovingly, joyfully and enthusiastically proclaim the love, the life and the liberation of Jesus to everyone who sets foot on this holy ground!”

Father Bailey is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana (1997) and St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland (2003). He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and he serves as the Chaplain of his Fraternity’s Chapter (Chi Gamma Gamma in Marietta, GA.).

Married to his “high-school sweetheart,” Mrs. Marica Bailey, they are the proud parents of four children and grandparents to twin granddaughters. Two of his favorite scriptural passages are as follows:

  • John 3:30: He must increase and I must decrease.

  • Psalms 9: 1-2: “I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing to Your Name, O Most High.”

​Upon his call to rector, Father Bailey became the 7th Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, which was founded in 1847 as a church for enslaved and free persons of color. 

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