The Bates Family


by Kelly on January 26, 2012

One of our favorite things to do as a family is to be involved in ministry. Throughout the year, we are invited to participate in church services in other parts of the country. During school months, we slow our travelling down to churches that are within a half day’s drive… but we were still able to squeeze in a few special church services over the past few months. With each meeting, we’ve left feeling blessed to have met, fellowshipped,  and worshipped with new friends.

buddy hoffner

A highlight at Bible Missionary Baptist Church in Rockwell,North Carolina, was having my mom, Gil’s parents, and many of his aunts, uncles & cousins attend the service!

family in s.c.


At Progress Baptist Church in Fletcher, North Carolina, we were able to participate in “Family Emphasis Weekend” with Pastor Doug Raynes and his family.   




At Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Oliver Springs, Tennessee, we were able to sing and enjoy the preaching of Pastor Garvin Walls. We also enjoyed fellowshipping with our good friends, Assistant Pastor Ben Graham and his family. 




{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne January 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Could y’all come up north to Massachusetts? We would love to meet you:-) God bless you for blessing others!


Jerica @ NobleWomen4Christ January 26, 2012 at 11:51 pm

It is always wonderful when the Lord provides opportunities to serve as a family! Looking forward to more days like that for us ;o)


Emily Raynes January 27, 2012 at 1:40 am

Love the post Mrs. Kelly! That was a wonderful weekend when y’all came down to our new church!! We love you all so much and are so thankful God allowed our paths to cross! :)


Lauren January 27, 2012 at 1:45 am

Looks like you had a great time! I live in Kentucky and my mother in law lives in TN, so I have thought about coming down and visiting your church!

It is almost Baby time for the Bates! I bet everyone is so excited!! We are expecting our very first child, due June 30th! I pray that your labor and delivery go peaceful and healthy.


Tonya January 27, 2012 at 1:55 am

Dear Kelly,
You have such a beautiful family!!!
Love, Tonya


Pam January 27, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Massachusetts is my “home state”; so I cheer on Suzanne’s post above! Please come to Massachusetts or somewhere in New England!!!


Missy January 28, 2012 at 2:06 am

We would love to get the chance to hear your family sing and speak. We aren’t too far away just down the road in Cleveland. Do you have a list of dates and places you will be at in the future? Also you may already know this but the Bontrager Family will be in Sweetwater in March. We haven’t been able to make it to hear them before but are looking forward to going in March, Lord willing.


Johnna January 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I’ll bet little Warden is a hoot!


Gil January 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Dear Johnna,
He’s quite the character, for sure!!! Love, Kelly


sonja petersen January 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Hey Kelly!
I like to read the german names in your reports, like sommer, schettler, hoffner,…there must be a lot of german surnames in the U.S.A.
Do you have old churches in America? My home church was build in the year 1232. That’s really old.
I hope you and baby Bates are feeling well- when will she/he be born?
Greetings to your whole family!


Hannah January 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Kelly when are you due?


Gil January 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Dear Hannah,
I’m due on Valentine’s Day… about 2 more weeks. Love, Kelly


Sheri January 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Hello Kelly,
Love your updates, they are uplifting!

We are new to ATI and are attending our first conference in Big Sandy this year. We’re super excited but are so new to it all and trying to figure it all out.

I have a silly question if you have time to answer – where do you find good, khaki colored skirts for the girls to wear for the Pre Excel groups at ATI? I am having a difficult time finding any at thrift shops (or even full price shops) that have an appropriate length for my small 8-yr old. Just wondering if you have any tips. :-)


Gil January 29, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Dear Sheri,
Michaella usually sews their skirts… You might check in your church to see if anyone sews. Love, Kelly


Mara Montero January 29, 2012 at 11:29 am

Dear Mrs. Bates,
I am a 19-year-old from the Philippines. I praise and thank God for a great blessing your family has been to me, although thousands of miles apart. Your family’s testimony gave our family an encouragement to continue serving the LORD. Thank you.
We pray for your safe delivery.


Jodie January 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm

While you are on your way to MA, you could stop in PA for a visit, too! :o )
I look forward to each new update. You and your family are so encouraging to me!!
God Bless,


Hannah January 29, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Do you know the gender of the baby?


Gil January 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Dear Hannah,
Gil has always liked to be surprised about the baby’s gender… I came very close to finding out once, but was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret for him. Instead, we’ve taken turns letting some of our older girls find out. Alyssa knows this one, but has done well keeping it from us. Love, Kelly


Louise January 29, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Hi Kelly!

I heard that you all will be starting your own TLC show in March. Congratulations! Is there any merit to that lovely rumor? Sure hope so. :)


Stephanie January 30, 2012 at 1:28 am

Sheri – You can find knee-length khaki skirts for girls online at A bonus – they are marked 1/2 off right now and are less than $10! FYI, I bought a denim one for my daughter, who is normally a size 7 and it ran very big. I would say maybe order a size smaller than usual. Hope that helps!

Kelly – Wishing you all the best in these last few weeks of your pregnancy, and I will be praying for a safe delivery for you and baby Bates. Can’t wait to hear an announcement that he/she is here and that all is well!


Patti January 30, 2012 at 3:55 am

Since Baby Bates could arrive anytime now, will Gil or one of the older girls update us if you are just way too busy? I know I’m getting anxious to know if it’s a boy or girl and what name you chose.


Gil January 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Dear Patti,
We’ll try to post a name and arrival info. as soon as we know it! We’re all getting anxious! Love, Kelly


Deepti January 30, 2012 at 5:57 am

The penmanship on your wall is so beautiful! Did one of you do it?


Gil January 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Dear Deepti,
Lana Wilson did the calligraphy work… She is amazing at it! Love, Kelly


Allison January 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm

You should visit Browns Bridge Community Church in Cumming, GA. Our pastor is Andy Stanley – son of Dr. Charles Stanley.

Let me know if you are ever down this way!!


Pam January 31, 2012 at 1:36 am

My husband’s aunt is a “Valentine” baby! She will turn 70 this year and is an amazing, beautiful, intelligent, highly spirited, highly spiritual, energetic, vibrant, loving, compassionate, supportive, connected daughter, sister, wife, Mother, aunt, aunt-in-law, former teacher, and friend to many. May your baby hold her character traits (be a son or daughter!). We love her!!!


L Crawford January 31, 2012 at 2:20 am

Dear Kelly, Was just thinking about you today and wanted to let you know that I pray for you to have a quick & easy delivery. I can’t wait to see pictures of the new little one.


Cassandra January 31, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Ha- that’s funny- Ben Graham is my husband’s cousin! Ben is the oldest in the Graham family, and my husband is the oldest in his family. In fact, my husband’s father and Ben’s father are cousins, and they married sisters- my husband’s mom and Ben’s mom! (try to figure that one out if you can! It’s a bit confusing!) We love Ben, Candace, and their children! I was reading along, and I was like, ‘Hey, I know Ben and Candace!’ We are very close to them! ~Cassandra McMurtry


Brenda H. February 1, 2012 at 2:13 am

HI Kelly,
My youngest will be 13 on Feb 13!( he is number 6) He is my almost Valentine Baby. He is a sweetheart and growing into a wonderful young man, he truly has a good heart.
My five older children were all about 2 weeks early, my youngest was a week late. I was wondering how close to their due dates have your children arrived ? My husband &I never found out the gender of our children ahead of time-we loved being surprised!!
Take care and I am praying for you and the little one.God Bless.


Beanie February 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Hi, Ms. Kelly! :) I hope it’s okay to ask how old Carlin and Josie are? Thanks so much! :D


Dawn February 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Dearest Kelly,
I want to thank you for being a place of ecnouargement and joy for me and my family. We love that you and the Duggars have given us the oppurtunity to be blessed by your testimony and words of love and wisdom as we watch your shows. My daughter and I can’t wait to order the cds by your young ladies. I was also wondering if you ever sell a CD or DVD of some of the speaking events you have done. I would love to be able to hear them. In a world where it seems hard to find many people who encouarge our standards I am greatful that even though it is through a DVD my hcildren and I can have some “friends” to look up to and give us strength when those around us challenge our passions. P.S. I was wondering if my daughter and I could send you a letter…Even though internet is nice, I think there is something so sweet about receiveing a handwritten letter from a dear friend. May you be blessed as you raise your arrows and serve your husband…and may I keep my heart focused on being more gentle and patient as I train mine.
Many many blessings,
Dawn P.


Gil February 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Dear Dawn,
You’re welcome to write… and if you do, mention that you’d like some sermon DVDs and I’ll be glad to send them to you if you include your address (I’m a little slow, though!) Love, Kelly


Johnna March 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm


Did I read somehwere that Gill has a CD out about finacial matters? If so where could I buy it. I looked on IBPL and did not see it.

Thank you,
Johnna Buntin


Gil March 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Dear Johnna,
He spoke at a homeschool conference for ATI and they do sell it, but if you’ll write my PO Box and ask for it, I’ll be glad to send it. Love, Kelly


Dyana McNeal March 18, 2012 at 12:43 am

So great to see that you were at Mt. Pisgah! Our church (Cornerstone Baptist, Smyrna, TN) supports Mt. Pisgah Bible Printing as one of our “missionaries”. I really enjoyed the service that Pastor Walls preached at our church. I know you were blessed by your time there! Thank you for sharing your family and your faith with the blogosphere!

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee;
The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Numbers 6:24-26


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