After a summer of rumors about a blossoming romance between Jinger Duggar and Lawson Bates, the two were together for a football game in Tennessee yesterday. Since Jinger lives in the Duggar family home in northwest Arkansas, she was flown to the rendezvous in one of the Duggar’s two small aircraft with her brother, John David, as pilot and her sister, Joy-Anna, as chaperone. The 3-hour, 40-minute flight in the four-seater plane was tracked by radar and landed at 3:51 p.m. at a small airport in Jacksboro, Tennessee, just north of the Bates family home in Rocky Top.
By 6 p.m., Jinger and Lawson were at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville for kickoff in last night’s football game between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Tennessee Volunteers. Lawson posted a short video of the game on Twitter, but that footage devotes equal time to shots of Jinger Duggar rather than the players on the field. To fans of the two, this is a dead giveaway that something is definitely brewing between the pair.
While there have always been rumors of a possible match downline between a Duggar family member and a Bates family member, focus on a link between Jinger and Lawson peaked last month when Lawson surprisingly turned up at the wedding of Jinger’s cousin, Amy, on September 6. The fact that he was the only one of the Bates family in attendance did not go unnoticed. Photos from Amy’s wedding show Jinger and Lawson standing next to each other.
On September 14, Lawson posted another picture to his Twitter account. This one included a shot of Jinger with Lawson, while he said goodbye to a friend.
Since the Duggar family reality series, 19 Kids and Counting, was cancelled, many anticipate seeing more of Jinger and Lawson on the Bates reality show on the UP network, Bringing Up Bates. If an official courtship or engagement between Jinger Duggar and Lawson Bates is in the works, it will probably be filmed for airing on the Bates show.
Lawson Bates is a talented singer/songwriter who performs modern gospel music. He has released several musical videos on YouTube and he now is working with a Nashville agent.
He has just released a CD featuring his original music and it is featured now on the Bates family website.
Certainly, music is something that Jinger Duggar, 21, and Lawson Bates, 23, have in common. Jinger Duggar is often seen onstage playing the violin before audiences with her siblings.
Also, both Jinger and Lawson come from a family with 19 kids. Both were raised with the same homeschool curriculum, and both families attend the same religious conferences.
The families know each other well, and the Bates were guests on many episodes of 19 Kids and Counting, beginning in 2008 with the show “When Big Families Collide.” The Bates briefly had a spinoff show on the TLC network, United Bates of America, before moving to the UP network.
The Duggar family Facebook page noted that Jinger Duggar’s trip to Tennessee also included a visit with her brother, Joseph, who is a student at a Bible college in Knoxville. Fans have also speculated that the reason Joseph chose that school is that he is romantically interested in one of the Bates’ daughters. Both families acknowledge that the Bates family home is Joseph’s home-away-from-home while he is in Knoxville. Speculation is that Joseph is either interested in Tori Bates or in Carlin Bates. Recently, Carlin has been spotted frequently hanging out with Duggar daughters, most recently with Joy-Anna and Jill Duggar in Guatemala.
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[Intro photo from TLC and Bates Family Blog]