Meet the Bates Family

Welcome!Driving up to the construction site, we were welcomed by happy children who pulled back the sheets to invite us into their home. You see, a grand addition to the house had been under way for the past eleven days which required knocking out the front of the house. However, exhaustion from the work and the fact that they had been entertaining a constant flow of company, did not stop the warm hospitality of Gil and Kelly Bates and "How's it goin' up there?"their sixteen children. As we went through introductions, I wondered how many of these names I would remember; but I was sure of one thing — their genuine spirit of hospitality would not be forgotten!

Trace keeps the team energized with his contagious smile and hard-working spiritMr. Bates uses his bucket truck to set the trusses in places We found both work and play to be delightful with this like-minded Christian family and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. If you had been there you would have seen joyous moments of sharing testimonies in the living room, feasting on the delicious Nathan, a multi-talented and enthusiastic cowboyDad helps to raise the trusses off the ground home-cooked meals around the huge dining room table and exploring the nearby cave with late-night hikers. You would have  heard constant storytelling, the roar of drills on the roof and the thud of oranges (not to mention the eggs!) as they fell  Zach takes a breakpast the hands of the jugglers in the kitchen.

As we pulled out of the driveway after our sad farewells, there was one thought that went with me. I was motivated to trust the Lord through everything instead of getting uptight  and worried over unexpected complications. In the midst of an unfinished house and a very busy schedule, there was peace in the Bates’ home; the same peace of "Refills, please!"God which can flood our hearts in any situation.

Daniel carries boards up to the workers on the roofWorking on the far side of the additionJohn Dugger taking video footage which will be used who-knows-where!
It takes effort to staple on the Tyvek"What's going on down there?"
The girls enjoy playing with the black snake as much as the guys doJames makes some precise measurementsLawson rests as the sun sets on a very productive day
Sharing testimonies in the cozy living room

There are too many pictures of the late-night hiking escapade to include here. You will have to wait to see them in the next post, coming up tomorrow night!


  1. Donald June 3, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

    I was compelled to give God glory with you Esther! I agree with you by the way that peace makes a great homewrap in the midst of growth and change ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. David June 4, 2009 at 5:12 am #

    I had a great time on Monday running around all day playing tag with Trace. ๐Ÿ™‚ For four hours we ran around chasing each other until we were all sweaty and so tired out that night that I almost decided to not go caving. But he was too fast and tricky for me so I was it most the time! ๐Ÿ™‚

    P.S. James will tell you about the caving experience tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Daniel June 4, 2009 at 5:18 am #

    Amen, Esther! How they did it I don’t know, but the Bates turned what could have been a hectic, exhausting, disorganized couple of days into a comfortable, edifying, and exhilarating weekend! On top of that, all I did in return was ruin all their fresh fruit and eggs! ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to see them again.

  4. Jonathan June 4, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    Thanks Esther for writing about this vacation. What good pictures James you really caught the idea of what it was like there! It was fun watching all the kids swarming around what ever project was going on! The names were quite hard to remember by the time we got all their names down they know all our names and middle names ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Michael June 9, 2009 at 5:12 am #

    A wonderful time of Christian fellowship. I’m so glad we were able to help with a little of the work. God blessed our time in unusual ways. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

  6. Dad & Mom June 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    Notice all the smiley faces in the comments. That tells the story of our time together!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We had a marvelous time in the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Suzanne July 7, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    Did the Duggars help too? If so can you put some pictures of them on this site?

  8. Ellen Mooring July 29, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    It’s so wonderful! I am so happy for the Bates family and touched to see Christians blessing one another. The Bates are such a beautiful family, most especially on the inside. God bless them.

  9. Jen August 4, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    That looks like such a sweet like-minded family ๐Ÿ™‚ Do they have email? It looks like ya`ll had a really blessed time working on that project and with all the fellowship as well. I really enjoy reading your articles.
    Many Blessings,

  10. Robbie August 9, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    It’s now August – did the new baby arrive yet? Boy? Girl? Name? Just curious. All I know is what I’ve seen on 18 Kids and Counting. The Bates are a wonderful family; I love watching/hearing about them more than the Duggars! :o)

  11. Erin August 12, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    Is the dad in the Bates family related to Tommy Bates?

  12. Janice Hendrick August 12, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    To all the Bates I think your wonderful, full of love for our lord…I wish I lived next door to you…thank you for sharing…what is the little one???

  13. Robert August 14, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    Thanks for the nice comments, everyone!

    @Suzanne – John David Duggar was there helping out with the construction work while were visiting. He was the only Duggar that we were able to meet on this trip.

    @Erin – No, I don’t think that there is any relation to Tommy Bates.

    @Robbie and Janice – Yes the baby did arrive! Her name is Callie-Anna.

  14. Heather August 18, 2009 at 9:23 am #

    I just want to say thank you to the Bates and Duggar Families for inspiring me to find the Lord again. I had lost my way, and strayed from the Lord. However, watching the fellowship between families and seeing the love and pride that you all have for each other and Christ is such an inspiration. God bless your beautiful family. And Bates and Duggar girls… Please always be grateful for the amazing father’s that you have. Most father’s barely even notice their daughters, or treat them differently. You are very blessed.- Take care of each other-
    Heather D.

  15. karen October 4, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    It is such a blesing to watch the positive
    interaction that you have as a family. I homeschool my two boys and marvel at your steadiness in homeschooling all your children.
    God bless your newest arrival. Hope to hear more about your wonderful family. Keep up your dedication to your family and to the Lord.
    God Bless.

  16. Jeannie October 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    I’ve been trying to scour the internet to see the finished house? Do you know where on the internet I may find a picture or a video?

  17. Donald October 8, 2009 at 5:49 am #

    Their house is actually not quite finished yet. We’ll make sure to let you know when we have a picture of it.

  18. Donna November 7, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    The Bates family is such a blessing and we are so proud that they are on television. God bless them and hopefully TLC will bring them back alot more.

  19. Tracy November 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    Do the Bates Family have their own website? Is the house finished? I was hoping for an update on “18 Kids and Counting”.

  20. Joyce December 15, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    I think having such wonderful families as the Duggar’s, Bates with such large broods.They all serving the Lord in their endeavors is a great inspiration to all. “LOVE ONE ANOTHER” as it says in the book of John. I enjoy getting to know them through the TLC show “18 Kids and Counting”. Continued success to all!

  21. Michael December 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    As of now, I don’t think the Bates have a web site. It’s looking like we’ll be seeing them soon, so we might be able to put up some pictures of their “finished” house around New Year’s. We might even put up a whole post about it. Keep checking in! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Angela Wayman December 17, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    The Bates are such a blessing,,,I love seeing them on with The Duggars,,,It is so good to have Brothers and Sisters in The Lord!!!! Keep Keepin on For The Lord!!! God Bless Yall!!!

  23. Fishy Jenson December 21, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    Hey Bates Family,
    My name is Fishy Jenson and I am so happy that you all are happy!!

  24. Ruthie January 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Is Callie-Anna the youngest child or is there more on the way?

  25. cassandra January 29, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    i enjoyed the segment here on St.maarten NETH.ANTILLES.the love between two blessed families.i wish the world could recognize this as the only way to live.god’s richest blessings to you.

  26. Michael January 29, 2010 at 8:04 am #

    Another visit with the Bates family! We have a picture of their NEW HOUSE here:

  27. will71 January 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    A wonderful time of Christian fellowship. I

  28. Debra January 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Hello I wish to thank you for the look in to your family life and fellowship. Wishing you and your family many more blessing and much happyness. I watch TLC 19 kids and counting as well. Thank You again for showing that people who chose to allow the Lord to guide their family have very wonderfull well adjusted loving children.

  29. Rosie January 3, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    I really like it when individuals come together and share thoughts.
    Great blog, keep it up!

  30. orings February 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    Appreciation to my father who told me about this blog, this blog is in fact amazing.


  1. » Blog Archive » Birthday with the Bates Family - January 7, 2010

    […] where a glowing wood stove added to their warm greetings. Mrs. Bates gave us a grand tour of their house-in-progress which is now completely enclosed and beginning to acquire the look of home. The children were good […]

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