John Bates was born in Bugbrook, England in 1805. As a twenty-two-year-old, he moved to London to find work, and it was there he found the Saviour. He was born again, baptized and joined the Eagle Street Chapel, pastored by the Baptist historian, Joseph Ivimey. Two years later Bro. Bates was called by the Lord to preach the gospel. After serving the Lord in Ireland and finding his bride there, in 1850, the family sailed for New York and from thence moved to Iowa, where he pastored for fourteen years.
An interesting anecdote from Bates’ life includes the fact that one of his five children joined the Union Army. The boy was mortally wounded in the Battle of Vicksburg and was taken to a Confederate hospital where he died. The parents eventually received a letter from a Southern Captain stating their son had “died a happy Christian, maintaining his principles to the last.”
From Iowa the family moved to Ontario where over time Bro. Bates served as pastor of several important Baptist congregations. While there, his remaining children, two sons and two daughters, all began to serve the Lord as either pastors or missionaries or the wives of servants of God.
After a lifetime of service for his Lord, John Bates left Ontario for the glories of his Father’s house, on this day in 1875.