For 10 seasons, UPtv's Bringing Up Bates has documented the lives of Gil and Kelly Jo Bates and their 19 kids. Ranging in ages from 9 to 32, the Bates family keeps on growing. So if you’re looking to catch up, here’s everything you need to know about the reality TV family.
The Bates are, of course, featured on the UPtv reality show, Bringing Up Bates. But beyond their TV fame, the ever-expanding family is also known for their religious beliefs. The family describes themselves as “evangelical, conservative Christians,” according to ABC News, which influenced their decision to have 18 kids since they “decided to trust God” with the size of their family. “We hope other families learn they can trust God with everything,” Gil said during an appearance on the 700 Club in 2015. “His ways work.” All the Bates live in the same part of eastern Tennessee and are clearly a close-knit family.
Before they landed a show on UPtv, they filmed a pilot for TLC called The United Bates of America. What’s more, the Bates are also close with another reality TV family: the Duggars. The Duggars and Bates are close that some of the Bates family members have made appearances on 19 Kids and Counting, the Duggars’ old reality TV show.
To get to know more about each member of the Bates family, here is a quick breakdown to help get you up to speed.
Gil (56) & Kelly Jo (55) Bates
There would be no Bates family without Gil and Kelly Jo. The couple first met while attending college at Anderson University in South Carolina and later married in 1987, according to CBN. Together, they have welcomed 19 children and now have 17 grandchildren, so they are certainly used to having little ones run around the house.
Zach Bates (32)
Zachary (or Zach) Bates is the oldest of the Bates siblings. He married his wife, Whitney, in 2013, and welcomed the first Bates grand baby in 2014. The couple are now the parents to four kids: 6-year-old son, Bradley, 4-year-old daughter, Kaci, and 1-year-old daughter, Khloé. Zach and Whitney welcomed their fourth child, a son named Jadon Carl, on June 7. The couple revealed on Instagram that Jadon had to spend some time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after his oxygen levels dropped after he was born. “There’s no way to describe the feelings and emotions we felt when we first held him in our arms,” they wrote in a post. “He is perfect in every way.”
Whitney helps run the Bates Sisters Boutique, an online clothing store, with her sisters-in-law.
While their family keeps growing, don't expect Zach and Whitney to follow in Gil and Kelly Jo's footsteps. Whitney told Us Weekly in February that she doesn't see herself having 15 more kids. "I'm sure we'll have a few more, but probably not 19," she told the magazine. "Two will be great."
Michaela Bates (31)
Michaela was born as Michael Bates, according to the Bates Family Blog. But when she expressed her distaste for having a traditionally male name, her family started calling her Michaela. The oldest Bates daughter married her husband, Brandon Keilen, in 2015. Together, they run their own business, Keilen Corner, where they sell baby blankets and other customizable gifts.
Erin Bates (30)
Erin Bates is a musician. She married her husband, Chad Paine, in 2013. Together, they have four young children: 6-year-old son, Carson, 5-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, 2-year-old daughter, Everly, and 1-year-old daughter Holland. Recently, Erin has opened up about having ruptured cysts that resulted in her having to fully remove one of her ovaries. "I have had three surgeries over the past few months, due to cysts that have ruptured and caused a lot of internal bleeding," she shared. "I ended up having to have one ovary removed and most of my second removed as well."
In August, Chad and Erin announced that they were expecting their fifth “miracle baby” due in January 2022. “Every day life is a miracle, but this is such a special miracle for our little family,” the couple told People in August.
Lawson Bates (29)
The second-oldest Bates son, born William Lawson Bates, goes by his middle name. Lawson is a country music singer, with music videos you can watch on YouTube. His videos have gotten more than 3 million views on YouTube, and his music is available to stream on Spotify and purchase on iTunes. Although Lawson was rumored to be dating Jana Duggar in the past, he is currently dating actress Tiffany Espensen, who happens to be close friends with Bindi Irwin.
Nathan Bates (28)
Next up is 27-year-old Nathan Bates. Nathan has worked as a flight instructor and only recently joined Instagram. On Dec. 24 2020, it was revealed that he is in a relationship with Esther Keyes, who is one of 14 siblings. Coming from a big family is something they can bond over, especially when they begin to start a family of their own. Nathan and Esther got engaged in May after embarking on a three-city journey that took them through both of their home states and ended in an engagement, according to Us Weekly. “I get to marry the girl of my dreams,” Nathan wrote in the caption of an Instagram post.
And in October, the couple tied the knot in front of 350 friends and family members in a ceremony in Pennsylvania. “Getting married to my best friend was the happiest day of my life,” Nathan wrote in the caption of an Instagram post. “Esther, I love you with all my heart and have been looking forward to this day for so long. It was so much more than I ever imagined. This was a fairytale magic day without words to describe the beauty and emotions.”
Alyssa Bates (26)
Alyssa Bates married her husband, John Webster, in 2014. Together, they have four daughters: 5-year-old Allie, 3-year-old Lexi, 2-year-old Zoey, and newborn daughter, Maci. When they aren’t filming for UPtv, they are vlogging about their new home and their adventures with their daughters on their YouTube channel, the Webster Family. They upload new videos every Friday.
Tori Bates (25)
Tori Bates married her husband, Bobby Smith, in 2017. They are the parents to two sons: 2-year-old Kade and 11-month-old Kolter. And their family is about to be grow by one more. In January, Tori revealed to Romper she is currently pregnant with baby number three, a girl, who they've decided to name Charlotte Raine, due in June.
Trace Bates (24)
Next in the line-up is 24-year-old Trace Bates. Trace is a police officer, who is talented in carpentry and has taken courses on sky diving, scuba diving, and has led many children's bible classes, according to a post on the Bates Family Instagram account. While he is currently single, his Instagram account shows he stays busy by riding his horse, snowboarding, and hanging out with his family.
Carlin Bates (23)
Carlin Bates has a 1-year-old daughter named Layla Rae, who she welcomed in February 2020 with her husband Evan Stewart. The couple married in May 2019 and, together, they document their lives on their YouTube channel, The Stewart Fam, which has over 94,000 subscribers. The couple also recently added a dog to their family.
While she comes from a big family, Carlin has said she thinks she could "have a few" kids, but not 19. "Right now, we're just so excited and cherish in every little moment with Layla, but we'll see, who knows," she told Us Weekly in February.
And now, their family is, indeed, expanding. On Aug. 30, the couple announced that they would be growing their family by one more and will be expecting their new arrival in 2022, making Layla a big sister. “Let the baby shopping, food cravings, morning (sometimes all day) sickness, and midnight snacks begin!,” Carlin wrote in the caption of her pregnancy announcement. “Every single part of the baby journey is worth it, and being parents is the best part of our story.”
Josie Bates (22)
Josie Bates married her husband, Kelton Balka, in 2018 at the age of 19. She gave birth to her first daughter, Willow, a year later in July 2019. Since then, she opened up about suffering a miscarriage in 2020, and in January announced that they were expecting a rainbow baby. On June 14, Josie and Kelton welcomed their daughter, Hazel Sloane, into the world. Josie currently runs her own web store, The Effortless Beauty Co Shop, which sells hair accessories.
Katie Bates (21)
Next up is 20-year-old Katie Bates. She loves traveling and being an aunt to her many nieces and nephews. In April, Katie got engaged to her fiancé, Travis Clark, who she met at church, according to Us Weekly.
“Taking this next step in our relationship is something we have prayed about and have looked forward to for a long time!,” Katie told Us Weekly at the time. “We are excited about what God is doing in our lives, and we can’t wait to see what He has in store for our future.”
Jackson Bates (19)
Jackson Bates is described by his mom as "someone that's incredibly strong." He recently completed ALERT boot camp training, which is a Christian training and service organization that "equips individuals with the tools to prepare them for the specific callings God has placed on their lives."
Warden Bates (18)
Gil and Kelly Jo's 18-year-old son Warden is one "cool" and “chill” kid, the parents wrote on the Bates Family Instagram. Warden's Instagram account reveals that he enjoys dressing up for church, helping out around the house (and is handy with a drill), embracing his Tennessee roots, and that he recently graduated high school.
Isaiah Bates (17)
Isaiah Bates is one of the more "laid back" Bates siblings, according to his parents. He’s also the tallest member of the Bates family.
Addallee Bates (15)
The "quiet yet friendly" Addallee Bates has been open about her journey with suffering from hearing loss on Bringing Up Bates.
Ellie Bates (14)
Gil and Kelly Jo's 13th child is "selfless" and always "showing concern and compassion" for others, her parens shared on the Bates Family Instagram.
Callie Bates (12)
Gil and Kelly Jo's youngest daughter Callie is "chatty" girl who loves making others feel welcome, according to her parents’ post about her on the Bates Family Instagram account.
Judson Bates (11)
The 18th Bates sibling, Judson, is a "fun" kid filled with personality, his parents have shared on social media.
Jeb Bates (9)
Jeb is the baby of the Bates family. While Kelly Jo has admitted to spoiling her youngest son, she’s said he is also the "best helper" with his nieces and nephews. Jeb's birth was filmed for TLC reality cameras, which captured his struggle to breathe on his own after his birth, according to the Daily Mail.
You can watch new episodes of Bringing Up Bates when Season 10 premieres on UpTV on Thursday, April 8 at 9 p.m. You can also stream episodes from the past nine seasons on UpTV Faith & Family or purchase previous seasons on Amazon Prime Video.
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