sidebar menu icon


GATES, ISAAC EDGAR (1874–1933). Isaac Edgar Gates, pastor, administrator, and author, was born on June 26, 1874, in Mart, Texas, the son of William Collier and Nancy Caroline (Fowler) Gates. He received his early education in the public schools of McLennan County. The Missionary Baptist Church of Battle, Texas, ordained him to the ministry in 1894, and he served as pastor of small churches at Mart, Battle, China Springs, and Patrick, while pursuing studies at Baylor University. He received his B.A. degree in 1903. His first full-time pastorate was at the First Baptist Church at Caldwell. After doing missionary work in Texas and Arkansas, he served as financial secretary for the raising of funds to build Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was the first president of Wayland Baptist College, Plainview, from 1910 to 1915, and then became pastor of churches successively at Plainview, Amarillo, and San Antonio. Gates was known as a gifted speaker and humorist. He wrote Vital Themes for Thinking People (1914) and an autobiography, Watching the World Go By (1930). Baylor University awarded him an honorary doctor of divinity degree in 1921. Gates was married to Stella Wood on February 26, 1893, and they had five children. Because of a heart condition he gave up his pastorate in 1932. Gates died on July 17, 1933, and was buried in the family cemetery at Mart.

Isaac Edgar Gates, Watching the World Go By (Nashville: Southern Baptist Convention, 1930). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 3.
James O. Wallace

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, James O. Wallace, "Gates, Isaac Edgar," accessed November 22, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.