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'Welcome To Plathville:' What Religion Is The Plath Family?

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What Religion Is The Plath Family On TLC?

In 2019, TLC audiences got to know the Plath Family on Welcome To Plathville. The Georgia-based family is 11 people strong and they live on a 5-acre farm where they can be on their own "slice of heaven." They are deeply religious and at the time the first season of the reality show premiered, were trying to limit the secular influences their kids received. Led by matriarch Kim Plath and patriarch Barry Plath, the parents explained early on in the show that they restrict technology and stick to farming and music as they raise their kids. They even homeschool all the children and  were actively discouraging one of their daughters from going to college during the first season. 

RELATED: The Tragic Death Of 'Welcome To Plathville's' 17-Month-Old Son Joshua Plath In 2008

They aren't entirely reclusive, however. Even before their reality show, the Plaths had been touring as a Southern Gospel band for years. The eldest daughter Hosanna even met her husband through music. She and pianist Timothy Nobel wed and are expecting their first child.

By the end of the first season, fans saw the family starting to fracture over their different approaches to life. The older kids wanted to try out a more worldly and secular existence. The parents were upset to see their kids walking away from their faith. Now, with a second season rumors to be in production, we may get to learn more about this family. 

What religion is the Plath family?

They follow their religion devoutly.

Matriarch Kim Plath makes it clear from the beginning that religion is the guiding force in their lives. On their now-defunct family website, they explained that they believe God leads them in all things. "Throughout we have sought God on major life decisions as well as the minor day to day choices," Kim writes. "He has taught us how to function as a family in unity. How did He teach us?  Little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept, as we walk by the way."

She and her husband Barry even credit God with bringing them together. They wrote that they reached received a revelation that they would marry the other on the same day. They didn't know each other at the time of this revelation so it was quite a surprise to both them. "In the Spring of ’97, on the exact same day, before either of us ever talked about it or showed any interest in the other, God revealed to Barry and I that we were going to marry. We were married in July of ’97," Kim recalls.

The Plath family isn't part of a formal church.

Despite their very intense level of faith, the Plaths have never been regular churchgoers. Eldest son Ethan explained that they stuck to small congregations or home-based churches because the Plath parents "didn't agree with how a regular church system functioned." 

They travel in fundamentalist Christian circles.

Even though they didn't attend worship services as a regular church, they have been linked to fundamentalist Christian organizations like the No Greater Joy Ministries, a controversial organization founded by Michael and Debi Pearl. The Pearls may be best known for their book To Train Up A Child, which conservative Christian families consider a handbook for parenting. However, others say the book encourages abusive practices that been implicated in the deaths of multiple children

The Duggars, another ultra-religious TLC family is also involved with No Great Joy ministries. The Plaths don't talk about the Duggars on their show but they are only a few degrees of separation from the first family of fundamentalism. Hosana Plath Noble is very good friends with a young woman named Nurie Rodriquez. Rodriguez is currently engaged to marry Nathan Keller. Keller's sister Anna is married to Josh Duggar. Will TLC find a way for us to see members of the Plath family and Duggar family attending the same wedding? It's not impossible!

Hosana Plath with Nurie Rodriquez, who will be Anna Duggar's sister in law soon. 

Not all of the Plaths are still devout.

The biggest plotline of the first season of the show was the friction between the parents and oldest son Ethan and his wife Olivia. While Olivia was also raised in a fundamentalist version of Christianity — and, in fact, she and Ethan met at a No Greater Joy Ministries event — her views on her faith have evolved. "Growing up in a conservative, legalistic church left a bad taste of Christianity in my mouth. As an adult, I’ve wrestled hard with what I believe and what religion I want in my life," she wrote in a now-expired Instagram story. "And here’s what I decided. I don’t want religion. I want nothing to do with religion. I want a relationship. I identify as a Christian, and I love Jesus. Jesus without all the crap and rules and hate and judgment.”

She and Ethan have started forging their own religious path. They have found a church in their area that makes them happy and they are living according to their own faith ideals. 


A post shared by Olivia Marie Plath (@oliviamarieplath) on Feb 14, 2020 at 4:23pm PST

Olivia and Ethan Plath.

Will season two bring more religious conflicts for the Plath Family?

At the end of season one, the Plaths announced that their middle daughter Moriah was leaving Georgia to go live with extended family members in Minnesota. Based on her Instagram account, she has spent time in Florida and Tennessee as well but it's not clear if she ever went back to her family's farm. She was seen chafing against the restrictive life her parents forced her to lead these days she is flaunting a different kind of lifestyle, including a boyfriend who lives in Florida. This all might be a storyline for the show.


A post shared by Max Kallschmidt (@maxkall2.0) on May 24, 2020 at 10:38am PDT

Moriah Plath and her new boyfriend.

RELATED: Get To Know Hosanna Plath, The 'Welcome To Plathville' Star And Accomplished Violinist

Will we meet some different family members?

While Ethan and Olivia have been hesitant to do a second season, there is another Plath who might be good television. Hosanna Plath, the oldest daughter o the family, is still part of the fundamentalist religious lifestyle. She is also expecting her first baby with husband, Timothy Noble. Baby plotlines are always very popular on TLC.

Hosana Plath Noble is expecting a baby soon. 

The premiere date for a new season hasn't been officially announced but there are rumors that the show is filming this summer. 

RELATED: Meet Ethan And Olivia Plath — New Details About How The 'Welcome to Plathville' Couple Met

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.