The Bates family has 19 children and 14 grandchildren from parents Gil and Kelly Bates. They have been the subject of two television shows, United Bates of America, which aired on TLC in 2012, and Bringing Up Bates, which began airing on UPTV in 2015. Members of the Bates family have also appeared on TLC's 19 Kids and Counting.


Family

Gil and Kelly Jo in October of 2019

Parents

Gil is the owner-operator of Bates Tree Services[3], the pastor of Bible Baptist Church of East Tennessee[4], and a board member for the Institute in Basic Life Principles[5]. Kelly Jo is a housewife and homeschool mom[6].

Anniversary: December 19, 1987[7]

Children

Name Date of Birth Notes
1 Zachary Gilvin "Zach" Bates December 30, 1988[8] married to Whitney Perkins with 3 children
2 Michael Christian "Michaela" Keilen January 23, 1990 married to Brandon Keilen
3 Erin Elise Paine May 2, 1991 married to Chad Paine with 4 children
4 William Lawson "Lawson" Bates July 27, 1992[9]
5 Kenneth Nathaniel "Nathan" Bates August 29, 1993[10]
6 Alyssa Joy Webster November 9, 1994[11] married to John Webster with 3 children
7 Tori Layne Smith December 20, 1995[12] married to Bobby Smith with 2 children
8 Trace Whitfield Bates February 1, 1997[13]
9 Carlin Brianne Stewart April 11, 1998[14] married to Evan Stewart with 1 child
10 Josie Kellyn Balka August 4, 1999[15] married to Kelton Balka with 1 child
11 Katie Grace Bates October 5, 2000[16] courting Travis Clark[17]
12 Jackson Ezekiel Bates February 17, 2002[18]
13 Warden Justice Bates May 19, 2003[19]
14 Isaiah Courage Bates October 16, 2004[20]
15 Addallee Hope Bates February 17, 2006[21]
16 Ellie Bridget Bates April 28, 2007[22]
Jewels Bates miscarriage[23][24]
Jubilee Bates miscarriage[23][24]
17 Callie-Anna Rose Bates August 2, 2009[25]
18 Judson Wyatt Bates September 15, 2010[26]
Zion Bates March, 2011[27] miscarriage
19 Jeb Colton Bates February 1, 2012[28] birth featured on 19 Kids and Counting episode "The Bates Family: And Baby Makes 19"[29]
Sunny Bates August, 2012[24] miscarriage

Zach's Family

Zach's family in June of 2020

Whitney Eileen Perkins - born September 21, 1993[30]

Zach currently works as a law enforcement officer for the Anderson County Sheriff's Department.[31] Whitney currently works as an affiliate broker for Bailey & Co. Real Estate[32] and is co-owner of Bates Sisters Boutique[33].

Anniversary: December 14, 2013[7]

Name Date of BIrth Notes
1 Bradley Gilvin Bates October 29, 2014[34] birth featured on Bringing Up Bates episode "Welcome Grandbaby Bates"[35]
2 Kaci Lynn Bates June 20, 2016[36] birth featured on Bringing Up Bates episode "Meet Kaci Lynn Bates!"[37], born breech
Baby Bates June, 2018[38] miscarriage
3 Khloé Eileen Bates November 7, 2019[39]
4 Baby Bates Due June 2021[40]

Michaela and her husband in October of 2019

Michaela's Family

Brandon Timothy Keilen - born September 15, 1989[41]

Brandon is currently a videographer for the Institute in Basic Life Principles.[42] Michaela is currently pursuing a degree in nursing.[43] The two also run a web store called Keilen Corner, which sells a book Brandon wrote and homemade baby items from Michaela.[44]

Anniversary: August 15, 2015[7] (wedding featured on Bringing Up Bates episode "Wedding Bliss & a First Kiss"[45])

Erin's Family

Erin's family in April of 2020

Charles Steven "Chad" Paine III - born April 18, 1987[46]

Chad is currently the owner-operator of Paine Construction.[47] Erin currently assists Chad by decorating projects for his company[48] and is co-owner of Bates Sisters Boutique[49].

Anniversary: November 2, 2013[7] (wedding featured on 19 Kids and Counting episode "Wedding Bells"[50])

Name Date of Birth Notes
Baby Paine 2014[51] miscarriage
Baby Paine 2014[51] miscarriage
Baby Paine 2014[51] miscarriage
1 Charles Stephen "Carson" Paine IV May 14, 2015[52] birth featured on Bringing Up Bates episode "Erin's Little Miracle"[53]
2 Brooklyn Elise Paine August 6, 2016[54] birth featured on Bringing Up Bates episode "And Baby Makes Five?"[55]
3 Everly Hope Paine March 30, 2018[56] birth featured on Bringing Up Bates episode "Labor Paines"[57]
4 Holland Grace Paine November 26, 2019[58]

Alyssa's Family

Alyssa's family in August of 2020

John Elliott Webster - born November 21, 1989[30]

John currently works as a technician for Webster Air Conditioning[59] and is the owner-operator of Johnny On the Spot Cleaning[60]. Alyssa currently assists with cleaning jobs[59].

Anniversary: May 24, 2014[7] (wedding featured on Primetime Nightline episode "My Extra-Ordinary Family"[61])

Name Date of Birth
1 Allie Jane Webster April 11, 2015[62]
2 Lexi Mae Webster January 26, 2017[63]
3 Zoey Joy Webster March 28, 2018[64]
4 Maci Jo Webster[65] due February 17, 2021[66]

Tori's Family

Tori's family in June of 2020

Robert "Bobby" Ellis Smith III - born on February 16[67], 1995

Bobby currently works as a plumber for The Plumbing Authority[68]. Tori is a stay-at-home wife and mother.

Anniversary: December 16, 2017[69] (wedding featured on Bringing Up Bates episode "Tori's Winter Wonderland Wedding"[70])

Name Date of Birth Notes
1 Robert "Kade" Ellis Smith IV November 9, 2018[71] birth featured on Bringing Up Bates episode "It's a Boy & Maybe One More"[72]
2 Kolter Gray Smith March 25, 2020[73]

Carlin's Family

Carlin's family in April of 2020

Evan Stewart - August 24, 1995

It is currently unknown what Evan does for a living. Carlin is co-owner of Bates Sisters Boutique[74].

Anniversary: May 25, 2019[75]

Name Date of Birth
1 Layla Rae Stewart January 31, 2020[76]

Josie's Family

Josie's family in April of 2020

Kelton Balka - July 4, 1995

Kelton currently works as a plumber for The Plumbing Authority[68]. Josie worked as a stylist at R&Co Salon prior to marriage, but it is unknown if she continued this job after getting married[77].

Anniversary: October 5, 2018[78] (wedding featured on Bringing Up Bates episode "A Bride, A Groom and a Love That's True"[79])

Name Date of Birth Notes
1 Willow Kristy Balka July 19, 2019[80]
Baby Balka Summer 2020[81] miscarriage

Beliefs and Practices

Despite denouncing him in 2015, Erin Bates honored Bill Gothard with a birthday cake at her wedding reception in 2013

Institute in Basic Life Principles

The Bates family follows the teachings of Bill Gothard's Institute in Basic Life Principles and their homeschooling program, Advanced Training Institute. It is unknown when they began following IBLP. In 2008, Gil said that they met the Duggars "a long time ago" at a conference and got to know them further at other conferences; it is assumed that these conferences were IBLP.[82] The group lists the following goals on their website:

The Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) was established for the purpose of introducing people to the Lord Jesus Christ, and is dedicated to giving individuals, families, churches, schools, communities, governments, and businesses clear instruction and training on how to find success by following God’s principles found in Scripture.

These goals are accomplished primarily through seminars, educational programs, printed literature, and the operation of centers to facilitate training.

You are invited to explore and avail yourself of the resources we offer.[83]

Michaela, Erin, and Alyssa with a Journey to the Heart group in 2009

Gil Bates joined the IBLP board of directors in 2013.[84][85] In 2015, Erin Paine said in a comment on one of her Instagram photos that she and her husband "are not affiliated with the ministry or Mr. Gothard in anyway at all, nor do we support." Lawson commented on the photo as well, saying "I do not support him [Gothard] or his ministry."[86] It is unclear if Lawson was referring to IBLP or Gothard's new ministry.

In addition to the ATI conference in Big Sandy, many of the older Bates children have been seen attending other IBLP functions like Journey to the Heart.

Homeschooling

Although both Gil and Kelly attended public schools growing up, they made the decision to homeschool their children so they could create their own curriculum that focused on character and faith. Although Kelly does handle the majority of the homeschooling (with the assistance of the older children), Gil does participate in the character traits training.[87] "It's a task to homeschool this many at one time, but my wife is very organized," Gil once said of Kelly's teaching.[6]

Several Bates children working on homeschooling

When asked about homeschool curriculum, Kelly has listed many different options she's used "based on [each individual's] learning styles". Choices mentioned include A Beka, Bob Jones, Paces, Switched on Schoolhouse, The Teaching Textbook, Wordsmith, Apologia Science, Precepts of Anatomy and Physiology, Principles Precepts and Theories of Biology, Grammar Key, Easy Grammar, and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. She has said that her usual go-to is A Beka.[88]

Although the children are homeschooled through high school, many of them have gone on to pursue degrees at Crown College of the Bible. Currently Tori, Trace, Carlin, and Josie all attend Crown College.[89]

Buddy System

Each of the older Bates children is assigned a younger partner who they help with everyday tasks.[90]

Lawson at age 19 buying groceries for the family with his own money

Debt Free Living

After attending a financial freedom seminar (likely the Jim Sammons seminar the Duggars often praise), the Bates family began to make a point to try to live debt free. Despite this, they have often borrowed money from their son Lawson, who makes a significant amount from his lawn mowing business. "We call him the bank financier," Kelly said of Lawson, "because he is always lending to siblings, or lending to us, or he's the one that always has money in the account when the rest of us don't."[91]

profile photo credit

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