78 Photo Essay: Jacob Gates

 

Words by Terrell Manasco | Images by Blakeney Clouse

Jacob Gates ambles into the room, a gray nylon jacket half-zipped over a blue checked button-down, and slides into a chair. Dark stubble on his chin below a pair of ice blue eyes teases the beginnings of a beard. A serene, almost enigmatic smile crosses his face. The smile says, Life is good. I am blessed. 

Indeed, life is good for Jacob. He and his wife, Lauren, have three wonderful boys who are their pride and joy: Eli, 6, Zeke, 2, and Mack, 9 months. Another reason is, as a physical therapist with TherapySouth, he’s doing what he wants to do. “What I really love about it is the time I get to spend with patients,” Jacob says. “We’re trained with manual therapy techniques. You establish relationships. You get that consistency and quality of care. People come in the door in a wheelchair and walk out with nothing, and you get to see the fruits of your labor.”

Jacob’s father is a minister and the family moved often when Jacob was growing up. He grew accustomed to living in different towns. After serving six years of active military duty (he’s a major in the U.S. Army Reserve), he earned his doctorate in physical therapy at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri before joining TherapySouth in 2016.

Now Jacob has another reason to smile. He’s been chosen the director for TherapySouth’s new Jasper clinic, which should be opening soon. “TherapySouth is a great company and provided me the avenue to do what I want to do, which is be a clinic director,” he says. “It’s a lot of ground work right now, getting inventory ordered and designs nailed down.”

Although this will be Jacob and Lauren’s ninth move in 10 years of marriage, he will be closer to his family. “My parents moved here in 1999. My dad is pastor at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church,” Jacob says. “I wanted to start settling down, and that’s what brought us here. I think it was the Lord’s timing in a lot of ways.”

Heavenly moments, indeed.  78

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