DORA CORNETT BAILEY SPENCER
Joyce Millsaps Bryson /August 21, 2005
When I met Dora Cornett I was 15 and she was 17 years old. We had just moved to Cartersville, Ga. when my Dad became pastor of the Atco Baptist Church. The Churches met together in the same building for awhile and I didn’t know or care which of the teen-agers were Baptist or Methodist. A little while later each church started having their own services in different locations at the same time. We were well aware of which youth went to each church. Dora was one of the few youth who was in the Youth Department at the Atco School building where the Baptist met. Our class grew by leaps and bounds but that didn’t erase memories of the feeling we had that first Sunday when most of the youth chose to go to the Methodist Church where they had been attending a very active Methodist Youth Fellowship & other youth activities. For a few weeks the Preacher’s daughters and a few others were in the minority on Sunday Mornings. The first members of that class were my first Atco friends.
Dora was beautiful red head with a faultless complexion and a cute figure, but her ready smile and positive attitude was what impressed me. She also had a beautiful alto voice. When we all got loud with our opinions Dora would say, “I think” and we all listened to see what she thought. She was a great influence on her younger sisters and brother. She was the oldest at home at the time and she looked out for them everywhere. When someone complimented her singing in the Atco Trio or the Atco Girls Chorus she would say “You should hear my little sisters sing!”
She kept her grades up at Cass High School and graduated with honors. My Dad, who saw her potential, told her he could help her get scholarships and work at the new Truett McConnell Baptist College in Cleveland, Ga. She answered, “But Preacher no one in my family has ever gone to college”. He replied “Mine either, but that doesn’t mean you or my kids can’t go.”
At Truett McConnell she was chosen to sing in the Truett Trio and the Truett Chorus her first year there. It was there she met Leland Bailey. She graduated with honors at Truett McConnell and then became Mrs. Leland Bailey. They had three beautiful daughters.
I haven’t lived in the same area as Dora during the last forty-years, but every time I’ve talked with her during this time she has told me all about her wonderful children and grandchildren. She never failed to mention what was going on in the lives of her eleven brothers and sisters.
I’m am sure that today she has joined her sisters Grace, and Doris, who passed away last week, waiting for the great family reunion with all the Cornett’s in Glory! What a singing that will be!
We are all richly blessed by having Dora in our lives.