Thank you for visiting us at our website.  We look forward to your visit with us during any of our services.  You will find a cordial welcome from our people.

J. Michael Bates, Pastor


 Our Pastor

Our pastor is Dr. J. Michael Bates.  Pastor Bates was born in Kentucky and grew up in Indiana in a strong Christian family.  He made certain of his salvation while a freshman in Bible college in November 1967. 

In 1971 our pastor graduated from Tennessee Temple College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible.  He received his Master of Religious Education degree in 1974 from Temple Baptist Theological Seminary. Pastor was honored in 1991 with a Doctor of Divinity from Ambassador Baptist College.  In 2002 he became the first recipient of the Master of Divinity from the seminary he founded, Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary.

Pastor met his future wife, Linda, while they were both attending Tennessee Temple.  Mrs. Bates was saved as a child and was raised on the mission field in Cuba where her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Roy Ackerle, were missionaries.  In 1961 her family was forced to return to the United States because of the communist takeover of Cuba by Fidel Castro.  Linda graduated from Tennessee Temple College with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1971. 

The day after Pastor and Linda graduated from college, they were married on May 25, 1971, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Mrs. Bates has always been active in the ministry where she and her husband served.  She has been a Christian school teacher, curriculum coordinator, and Christian school principal. 

Pastor and Mrs. Bates have raised three children who are actively serving the Lord in their local churches.  David is the music director of a church in Colorado, Stephen pastors a church in New Hampshire, and Carolyn teaches in a Christian school in Florida.  All together they have ten grandchildren.

Pastor Bates was youth pastor of South Dalton Baptist Church in Dalton, Georgia, and a member of the faculty of Tennessee Temple Schools from 1969-1974.  His first pastoral ministry was in Harriman, Tennessee, with the Trinity Baptist Church where he served from 1973 to 1976.  In 1976 Dr. Bates assumed the pastorate of Providence Baptist Church in Riverview, Florida, and served there for sixteen years (1976-1992).  Before his ministry here in Hixson, Pastor led the Emmanuel Baptist Church (1992-2006) in Connecticut.  

Dr. Bates has authored two books:  Now That I Have Children, What Do I Do With Them? and  Inspiration, Preservation, and the KJV.  Check with the church librarian for the availability of either of these books.