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Dolores Bailes

Dolores Bailes

Oakland Free Methodist Church
East Liverpool, OH
Quizzed 1955-2005
Inducted 2007


(Heaven - March 10, 2006) (formerly of Georgetown, PA)

During the years of 1955 to 2005, Dolores coached teams from Monaca, PA; Sylvan Crest, PA; Hookstown, PA; Chester, WV; and East Liverpool (Oakland), OH. She started coaching back when they had jump judges and not electric quiz chairs. Dolores actively coached until October 2007 when a stroke put her in the hospital, but even then she still asked the kids quiz questions when the came to visit. According to daughter Sheila, "The biggest difference quizzing made in her life was knowing the scriptures. She didn't need a concordance; she was it. She enjoyed coaching her own children and grandchildren, and watching kids memorize Bible verses and seeing it change their lives." Dolores served as the Pittsburgh Conference Bible Quiz Promoter for several years (about 1975 -1980). Her favorite scripture was Philippians 4:13: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

A Tribute about Dolores Bailes by Rev. Michael Hopper Free Methodist Denominational Co-Director of Bible Quizzing

King David wrote: "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You....I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in Your decrees...." (Psalm 119:9-16)

As I think of Dolores Bailes, these words from Psalm 119 come to mind. Having known her since 1983, I can tell you that Dolores had a deep love for God and for His word. She delighted in the Holy Scriptures.

About six months ago, I called Dolores to ask her about her experiences with Bible Quizzing. One of my first questions was to ask her if she ever quizzed as a teen. She told me: "I was too old to quiz" and explained that it wasn't until 1951 (when she was 21 years old) that she invited Christ into her life as her Lord and Savior. (Quizzing back then was for those up to age 20.)

Dolores then proceeded to tell me about some of the joys that she had in encouraging teens to study God's word. She started coaching a quiz team around 1956 in Monaca, PA, and then told me: "Ever since then, I have always had a team-except for 1-2 years when I was not coaching." She also coached youth in Hookstown, PA; Chester, WV; and East Liverpool (Oakland), OH. She recounted the days when the Free Methodist denominational Quiz Finals were held at Camp Mack in Winona Lake, Indiana.

Around 1957, Dolores worked at the Free Methodist Headquarters with Earnest Keasling, the Director of Free Methodist Youth Ministries, with a specific focus on the denominational youth magazine: "Youth in Action." Keasling was the one who originally started Free Methodist Bible Quizzing, and perhaps her association with him further encouraged her interest in and love for God's word.

Not only did Dolores have the desire for the youth of her local church to learn God's word, but she also encouraged the other coaches and teams of the Pittsburgh Conference. For a period of about 4-5 years, she served as the Quiz Director for the Conference.

One of the greatest blessings that Dolores brought to me was my wife. As a young adult, Janet (Crawford) Hopper attended the Hookstown Church and was invited to serve along with Howard and Dolores in ministering to the teens. The Bailes mentored Janet and trained her to be a leader. As time went on, they thought it would be good for her to be married to a minister, and knew of one (me) who was attending Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. Howard and Dolores (along with one of Dolores' former quizzers Evie Smith) encouraged this relationship through inviting me up to tournaments and providing housing in their home. Janet and I were married in 1984, and what a blessing Janet has been to me and my ministry. I thank God for the way Howard and Dolores Bailes invested in her.

One of the greatest joys for Dolores was to be able to encourage her own children in studying God's word through coaching them in Bible Quizzing, and then many years later to coach her own grandchildren. She was delighted to be able to tell me: "Most of my grandchildren have quizzed....Quizzing is the best program....You can't do anything better." Dolores had a deep love for God and for His word. In a humble way, Dolores ended our conversation by telling me that one of the greatest blessings of Bible Quizzing was that "I really know the Bible, especially the New Testament." I appreciate the way that Debbie Teter, Dolores' daughter, has put it: "Mom lived her life studying the Book; now she gets to be with the Author."

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