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Kelton Balka is the eldest of Michael Balka and the late Kristy Balka's five children. He is married to Josie Bates. Together, they are the parents of Willow and Hazel Balka.

Early Life

Kelton and his sister Ariana as children

Kelton Balka was born on July 4th, 1995 to Michael H. Balka and Kristy Dotson. The couple went on to have four more children after him, until his mother passed away during the birth of their final child, Kierstin, on April 14, 2009.[1][2] After his mother's death, the family moved from their home in South Carolina to Tennessee.[3]

Childhood Education

Kelton was homeschooled until his mother passed away.[3] At some point after that, he and his siblings were enrolled in Temple Baptist Academy.[4] Growing up, Kelton was an active participant in Bible Quiz competitions.[5]



On August 10, 2017, it was announced that Kelton is dating Josie Bates, and on January 24, 2018, it was announced that Kelton and Josie were courting.[6]


The since-deleted instagram photo

On June 21, 2018, photographer Emily Klarer shared a photo of Kelton with Josie Bates on her Instagram account with a caption about shooting their engagement photos. This photo was later deleted, as were comments about the engagement on Josie's account.[7]

Kelton and Josie on their wedding day

On June 22, 2018, the couple officially announced their engagement on UpTV. Kelton arrived at Josie's work and sent her on a scavenger hunt that began in Knoxville, TN, and led to Arches National Park in Utah. Each stop of the scavenger hunt included a new charm for Josie's charm bracelet. At the final stop, Kelton proposed, and Josie said yes.[8]

On August 9, 2018, Josie announced that the wedding will be on October 5, 2018.[9]


Kelton married Josie Bates on October 5, 2018. The wedding took place outdoors at Cove Lake State Park in Caryville, TN. Josie's father, Gil Bates officiated. His best man was his best friend and future brother-in-law Bobby Smith, and his groomsmen were his brother Grant Balka, future brother-in-law Trace Bates, and friends John Whitney and Jayman Yant. His sister Ariana Balka was among the bridesmaids.[10]

Josie and Kelton with their newborn daughter, Willow Kristy


On February 13, 2019, Kelton and Josie announced that they were expecting their first child who was due in July 2019.[11] On March 28, 2019, they announced that the baby was a girl to be named Willow Kristy Balka. [12]

At 2:23am on July 19, 2019, Kelton's first child, Willow Kristy Balka, was born. She weighed 6 pounds and 10 ounces, and measured 19 inches long.[13]

On September 9, 2020, it was announced via Josie's Instagram page that they had been expecting a baby that would have been due in March 2021, but she had had a miscarriage the previous month.[14] On August 25, 2021, Josie announced via her Instagram page that it was the 1 year anniversary of her miscarriage, saying

Kelton and Josie with newborn Hazel

'One year ago we lost an Angel. You were so tiny, but so loved. You made us stronger, you made us love deeper, and you will never be forgotten. 08-25-2020'[15]

On January 5th, 2021, they announced they were expecting a second child in June 2021.[16] On February 18, 2021, they announced the child would be a girl and they would name her Hazel.[17]

On June 14, 2021, Kelton's second child, Hazel Sloane Balka, was born. She weighed 6 pounds and 3 ounces, and measured 18 inches long. [18]


Kelton with his college roommate Bobby at their graduation


Kelton began attending Pensacola Christian College in 2013. While attending PCC, he was a member of Delta Psi Delta. He also coached soccer and worked as a collegian secretary. He roomed with Bobby Smith while in school. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in finance on May 10, 2017. [19]

Plumbing Career

Kelton began working for The Plumbing Authority in Knoxville, TN, in May of 2014, and still works there today.[20]

In 2019, Kelton started his own plumbing company, Tennessee Standard

Television Appearances

On August 10, 2017, the UpTV show Bringing Up Bates first introduced viewers to Kelton in the episode "One Cap, Two Gowns?". Since then, Kelton has frequently been featured on the show. His wedding to Josie was featured in the episode "A Bride, A Groom and a Love That's True!"

Wedding Involvement

Kelton has been involved in the following weddings:

profile photo credit


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