Jerry Bates
Elder of Teaching and Doctrinal Training

Jerry teaches a weekly Sunday school class at 11:00 am Sunday mornings focusing on the fundamental doctrines of our faith and time for personal prayer and ministry.  Jerry also leads several men’s Bible study groups, which examine the Scriptures verse by verse, encouraging the group members to bring out insights and observations from their own study and meditation.  Along with our pastor, Jerry co-leads a periodic Holy Spirit retreat focusing on who the Holy Spirit is, what He does, and the difference between indwelling for regeneration and coming upon the believer for ministry.  Jerry is also a favorite Sunday morning guest speaker at our Sunday services and other places.  As a member of our elder team, Jerry shares responsibility for praying for the sick and oversight of the church in general with other elders.  Jerry has two passions.  One is to instill an understanding of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith in believers.  The other is to see people enter into biblical experience with the Holy Spirit.

Outside his leadership responsibilities at Grace, Jerry has also taught and preached in various churches as a guest speaker.  He has taught a Bible study in the Federal Building in downtown Fort Worth since 1975, as well as other Bible studies in other churches and small groups.

Jerry was born in Fort Myers, Florida, while his father was stationed there with the Army Air Force during World War II.  The war ended the year after Jerry was born, at which time his family returned to Texas.  He has a B.A. in history from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas at Austin, which he earned in 1968.  After graduating, Jerry entered the United States Navy as a JAG officer stationed in Norfolk, Virginia.  He returned to Fort Worth, Texas, where he spent two years with the office of counsel for the Army Corp of Engineers before returning to private law practice.  In the 1980’s Jerry was an attorney working with the Rutherford Institute doing Christian civil rights work, such as school prayer and abortion cases.  Today, Jerry does adoption work, commercial litigation, and consumer protection lawsuits.

Jerry and his wife Joan met in Virginia Beach, Virginia, while he was teaching a Bible study for naval officers, teachers, and nurses.  Joan was a French and English teacher when someone brought her as a guest to his study.  They were married in 1972.  Jerry and Joan came to Grace Community Church in August of 1988.  Jerry became an elder in January 1989.  They live in Keller and have three daughters, Teri, Angela and Emily.  All of their children are now happily married with children and have given Jerry several grandchildren. 

Jerry enjoyed tennis and racquetball until injuring his ankle in a racquetball game 1986.  Now he enjoys walking, reading, history, law and reading through the Scriptures and commentaries.