gospel singer

Louise Scates

Chatham resident Louise Scates was honored recently for her 52 years of gospel singing, performed both locally and beyond.

The plaque titled "The Legendary Louise Scates, notes the dedication she has made to her craft, and her alto voice has filled the sanctuaries of numerous churches and more in Virginia and North Carolina.

New World Ministry honored Scates on Dec. 18 in Yanceyville, North Carolina.

Scates, 77, got her start at about age 5 singing in the pews of Hopel Chapel Baptist Church in Dry Fork, where she has been a member ever since.

She joined the choir as a young adult and soon became a soloist. Her repertoire includes favorites such as "When you hear of my homegoing," and "Lord don't move the mountain, give me strength to climb."

"I love those songs," said Scates.

The Rev. Dr. James Pettus of Hopel Chapel said Scates contributes to the overall atmosphere of anything musically related at the church. When she does sing in her home church, Pettus said she is an inspiration.

"She moves the spirit within the people. The people just move, respond," he said, adding that Scates is also a deaconess and attends Bible study.

Before the pandemic arrived, Scates said she was on the road nearly every weekend for singing engagements, but that has slowed considerably because of COVID restrictions. Scates said she has managed to sing with a mask on, as the material did not hamper her voice.

"Everyone said I did real good," said Scates, who is retired from Hooker Furnishings in Martinsville.

During her singing career, Scates has made around 1,000 45's, and later, more than 1,000 CDs of her performances. She is not, however, on the internet - yet.

"I enjoy what I'm doing," she said.

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