Celebrating Sixty Years: From Suicide to Salvation

Weekend National Faith News Focus:

ENUMCLAW, Wash., April 29 /Christian Newswire/ — “Wow, you’ve experienced some amazing things. You should write a book.” Many earn the privilege of hearing that, but who actually takes the time to sit down and record their life stories? Sure the bookstores are filled with celebrity memoirs by former child stars, teen icons, and athletes but what about the everyday person who has done things that were just as (or often even more) interesting without ever being caught on film? If each of us took time to remember, we might all have something to celebrate and record on paper, even if just for our families.

Evangelist and Baptist minister Dr. Ben Bates recorded sixty years of serving God through ministry in his upcoming memoir “From Despair to Victory.” Born in rural Arkansas during the depression, Ben Bates grew up in extreme poverty. When WWII began, the Navy replaced his dreams of becoming a basketball star–it also introduced him to a world without parental and religious restrictions. He fell into a lifestyle that drove him to the brink of suicide. Then someone handed him a gospel tract and Ben’s life changed forever. “When I got my life straightened out I was thrilled to simply live a clean moral Christian life” Bates says. It never entered his mind to pursue the ministry. He had, however, once dreamed of becoming a missionary. When a history of TB kept him from the mission field he surrendered to God’s tug to become a pastor evangelist. Sixty years later he reflects on his experiences, including traveling cross country in a 1940 Chevrolet to witness and preach to whoever would listen, seeing souls saved at rescue missions and revivals, and pastoring five successful Baptist churches in California, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee.

Now a “fill-in” pastor and a Chaplain for the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, Bates hopes that his story will inspire others to strive for a better life and to never give up. “God can reach to the depth of society . . . and shape and mold [lives] and make them into a vessel of honor and dignity.” “From Despair to Victory” is a testimony to God’s work in one surrendered and willing life.

For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview, please contact Abigail Davidson by phone at 360-802-9758, by email at [email protected], or by fax at 360-802-9992. To purchase a copy of this book visit www.winepressbooks.com or call 877-421-7323.

Disclaimer: Articles featured on Oregon Report are the creation, responsibility and opinion of the authoring individual or organization which is featured at the top of every article.