The Bates Family

Erin’s Graduation

by Kelly on May 20, 2014


On May 5th, Erin graduated from Crown College of the Bible with honors, magna cum laude. She earned a bachelors degree in music ministry and received the Brad Askew Award for Music Ministry, along with her Crown College music teacher certification. We are so very proud of her dedication and hard work! She paid her own way through school by teaching piano lessons, so she spent many long days and excessive hours between her classes, lessons, and homework! We are also extremely grateful for the teachers who impacted her life and set such a wonderful Christian example! The classes at Crown were challenging and spiritually inspiring! Many thanks to Crown College faculty and Pastor Sexton for maintaining such high standards and exemplary goals for the students! (



Zach’s Campaign Results

by Kelly on May 9, 2014

DSC04369The Republican Primary was Tuesday, May 6th. Zach finished the race with 47 percent of the votes. It was a very close race and we are proud of Zach’s hard work and determination. He had a lot of obstacles to overcome: only having 2 months of campaigning, operating on an extremely lower budget, being a much younger age, and running against an incumbent. In spite of these handicaps, he tirelessly pressed on and we are grateful for his testimony!

We are also extremely grateful for the donations, encouraging words, and sacrifices made to help during the campaign. We have neve1922507_1399485690317206_328588268_nr seen such commitment! The Duggar Family hosted a fund raiser rally, made several robo calls, invested in the campaign, and were a huge source of counsel and wisdom. Josh Duggar and Jimmy Ranier designed the two mailers. Andy Leftwich and Cody Kilby from Kentucky Thunder hosted a fund raiser concert. Former Mayor Myron Iwanski and Alan Beauchamp offered an endless amount of support and help! Many families and individuals drove long distances to help man polls for 11 hours on the final day. James Perryman and 4 of his siblings drove from Texas to help knock 2000 remaining doors in 3 days and to manage the final day manning the 27 polls.

Most of all, we’re grateful to the thousands that placed their confidence in Zach and voted for him. He will complete his remaining term as commissioner and will continue to look for opportunities to serve the county he loves so much!

On a side note, the following day yielded some good news: Zach and Whitney are expecting a boy! We all feel exceptionally blessed and grateful! (

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And after LONG LONG hours of campaigning…….

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“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” Proverbs 22:1


Free! Free! Free!

by Kelly on April 29, 2014

gregGreg Howlett is an amazing concert pianist that has inspired and helped our family in many ways over the past few years. He helped promote Erin’s two piano CDs and has helped manage our website and web store. We are excited that he will also be playing the piano for Alyssa’s upcoming wedding on May 24th. We are grateful for his testimony and his talent!Heirloom600

Greg is offering a free music give away that is especially designed for children. Heirloom is a project featuring gentle piano solos accompanied by nature. The music ranges from Christian tunes to lullabies and original songs. You can download this project entirely for free either with or without the nature sounds at

Pianists can also download all of the arrangements on the project for free. We hope this will be a blessing to you and your family! Enjoy! Smile



Singing in Colorado

by Kelly on April 16, 2014

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Lawson received an offer too good to resist when some people offered to make a music video of one of the original songs on his CD. The featured song, “The End Down Here,” gives a glimpse of Heaven and the hope Christians have when this life on earth is over.  (

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So last week, Lawson and Nathan flew to Denver, Colorado, for the 8 day adventure and film project. We are grateful to Corey Cheney with Provident Media Group ( for undertaking this task!  We’re also very thankful for the Johnson family who are hosting the boys during their stay, and to Timothy, Mark, and Nathan Johnson for their help.

It’s been an incredible experience for the boys, as they are wrapping up their visit with only 2 days left. Nathan promised he’s going to take me back one day to see these gorgeous views! Until then, I’ll have to enjoy the music video which will be released in a few weeks! Smilephoto (2)photo (3)photophoto 4photo (4)photo 3IMG_4806 (1)IMG_4713IMG_1632 (1)IMG_7324photo (8)photo (9)photo (12)photo 2 (1)photo (10)


Everyday Life

by Kelly on April 14, 2014

I had some requests for random shots of our everyday life, so I’ll try to include some in the next few posts. Chad and Erin usually come over to help give haircuts, which is a HUGE help! Here’s some photos of two of those visits!

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Belated Valentine’s Day Post

by Kelly on April 7, 2014


Our annual “I Love You” Day celebration was FULL of surprises!

We exchanged names for gifts, laughed, hugged, and had a wonderful family time together. Both newlyweds joined us, as well as John Webster and Brandon Keilen!

IMG_7633Unknown to Michael, we picked Brandon up from the airport and dropped him off to hide at Zach’s house. Michael came to Zach’s to watch a DVD Brandon had sent for her Valentine’s Day. The DVD is a slideshow of their relationship, filled with sentimental memories, and it ends with a song Brandon wrote and sang to Michael. In the middle of the DVD, while the song was playing, Brandon snuck up behind Michael and began singing along with the DVD! What a sweet surprise!

We were blessed with another surprise on this special day of celebrating: news that Zach and Whitney are expecting! Our hearts are filled with rejoicing! Erin’s and Whitney’s due dates were a week apart, but our first little grandbaby has gone to be with the Lord, as Erin experienced an unexpected loss. We continue to pray for both couples and are grateful for the many who have sent their condolences to Chad and Erin. We are amazed at the kindness others have shown and we are grateful to each of you! ( We ask for your prayers for Zach & Whitney also!