David M. Bailey was the son of Presbyterianmissionaries and was raised, primarily, in Beirut, Lebanon. He spent the last two years of his high school education in southern Germany (the Black Forest area), where he was prolific in his songwriting and performing. Upon returning to the United States, he attended Grove City College; he then[when?] married Leslie McGarvey and entered corporate America.[when?] He was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme IV (GBM 4) brain tumor that was to have killed him in six months. He quit his corporate job and returned to his love of songwriting and performing. He toured and performed for a few years in the duo Not By Chance, along with guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Douglas Ebert. The duo eventually dissolved and Bailey toured solo from then on. In 2003, he was a "New Folk Finalist" at the Kerrville New Folk Competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival. In late 2008, Bailey was diagnosed with a recurrence of glioblastoma. On November 20, 2008, Bailey had surgery to remove a cyst and new tumor. His trials with the initial occurrence of glioblastoma, and the initial recurrence in 2008, were discussed in Sanjay Gupta's book Cheating Death. On October 2, 2010, Bailey died of Brain Cancer following a wonderful month-long surge during which he was able to visit with family and friends from across the United States.
David performed and provided workshops for countless Christian and Cancer conferences nationally and around the world. He attended the New Wilmington Mission Conference off and on for his entire life, was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and a hero in the Brain Tumor community.