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Reverend Bates is a native of Liberia; he is the 15 th of 16 children. He is happily married to his lovely wife of 28 years, Mrs. Weade V. Bates (Vickie). They are blessed with three wonderful children: Valerie (Angel), Ulysses (Doc), and Shelby (Candice). Two grandchildren: Paris and Zayn.
 
Reverend Bates has served as a pastor in the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for 18 years. He first served the Lemont Charge  on the Eastern Shore District. Later he served Galilee UMC on the former Rappahannock and Fredericksburg District respectively. Most recently, he served the Fishersville UMC on the Staunton District.
 
Reverend Bates is a family man who loves to preach and teach. He has traveled and preached throughout the United States.
 
His educational accomplishments include an undergraduate degree in accounting, a Bachelor’s of Arts in Religious Studies/Judaic Studies (BA), a Master’s of Divinity in Theology and Congregational Pastoral Care (M. Div), a Master’s of Science in Clinical Professional/Pastoral Counseling (MS), and a Ph.D. in Psychology.
 
Scripturally, Reverend Bates is motivated by Jeremiah and Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
 
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)