Gates, Isaac Edgar (1874–1933)

By: James O. Wallace

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: January 1, 1995

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.
  • Religion
  • Baptist

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

James O. Wallace, “Gates, Isaac Edgar,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995