Gil Bates and Kelly Jo Bates is a household name in America. Their love for each other and family is already an example. Married pretty young in their early 20s, the couple has 19 children in total, and they are continuing to enlarge their family with new members married to their kids and grandchildren.
Gil Bates and Kelly Jo Bates are also close to another large family The Duggar Family, who have 17 children, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar being the head of the family. The Bates was first introduced to the world when they appeared in the TV show of the Duggar family's 17 and Counting in 2008. The couple then had a show in 2012, United States of Bates on TLC and later in 2015, The Bates family on UpTv.
Gil Bates, who was born in South Carolina, met Kelly Jo Callaham when he went to the same college as her. They both attended Anderson University, Indiana. Both raised Christian, they served on the same ministry team. While Gil was a Chemistry student, Kelly was the lab assistant.
Hence, their love grew with the continuous interactions. When the budding couple had to transfer to a new university, they transferred to the same university. They transferred to Carson Newman University to be together.
Gil proposed to his future wife Kelly when they were still in college. Later, they married on December 19, 1987. Both were only in their early 20s at that time, Gil being 22 and Kelly only 21.
What makes them the special couple and family of the USA is that they are parents to 19 children. All 19 children were born one at a time thus there are no sets of twins or triplets in the family.
Every child is unique on their own and has their individual personality. All of which were born from the year 1988 to 2012.
The children include 9 sons: Zachary Gilvin, William, Kenneth Nathaniel, Trace Whitfield, Jackson Ezekiel, Warden Justice, Isaiah Courage, Judson Wyatt, and Jeb Colton, and 10 daughters: Michael Christian, Erin Elise, Alyssa Joy, Tori Lane, Carlin Brianne, Josie Kellyn, Katie Grace, Addallee Hope, Ellie Bridget, and Callie-Anna rose.
Among them, 5 are married and have 8 children of their own. Their daughter Tori Smith (nee Bates) is pregnant with her first child.