Bates Will Share Incredible Story And Vocal Talent
When little four-year-old Timmy Bates picked up a water pistol, he first aimed it at all his friends but couldn’t find the strength in his tiny fingers to squeeze the trigger hard enough to make water come out. He then turned the gun where he could look down the barrel and used his thumb to squeeze the trigger. This time he succeeded, but something was drastically wrong. The “water pistol” turned out to be a .22 caliber revolver and the shot sent a piercing roar throughout the house. The bullet had entered Timmy’s throat and he was having difficulty breathing. He was rushed to the hospital and immediately into surgery, leaving his mother to sit on pins and needles for hours just waiting to know if her little son was going to live, not to mention the extent of physical damage if he did.
Finally, the moment of truth arrived and the doctor emerged looking as if he hadn’t slept in days. He told Timmy’s mother that it was a matter of waiting now. He couldn’t be certain at this point, but if he made it through the night he would have a fair chance of survival. The bullet had gone through his esophagus, perforated his wind pipe, tore his vocal box, and powder had burned his lungs. The best he could promise was that if Timmy lived, he would never talk above a whisper. At that time the mother’s concern was to keep her son alive and deal with the damage later. His mother, not a Christian at the time, began calling people that she knew were Christians and asking for their prayers. In just a few hours, prayers were being made from all over Ohio where they lived and also from many other states.
Timmy remained in a coma for two days. Finally, as his mother, exhausted, slept by his bed, a nurse noticed a movement and walked over to look in on the still body and said a prayer for Timmy. As she did, his eyes opened and a tear ran down his cheek. Then, as the nurse watched, Timmy looked up at her and with a voice as clear as crystal said, “I want my mommy.”
Today, not only does Timmy Bates speak clearly, but sings with one of the richest tenor voices in Southern Gospel Music. Tim, his wife LaDonna, and daughter Laykin now reside in Kingsport, Tenn. He and his wife make up two parts of the Bates Family Trio and have traveled from coast to coast proclaiming the grace of Jesus Christ to anyone who will hear. They have been featured in the National Quartet Convention and have done several recordings at Nashville, Tenn. Most of their music is written either by Tim or his twin brother Tony, who wrote the song “Keep the Change” and was recorded by Vince Gill.
The public is invited to meet and hear the Bates Family at the First Baptist Church of Pine Grove at 2 p.m. on Nov. 15.