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Benjamin "Ben" Michael Seewald (born May 19, 1995) is the first child and first son of Michael Seewald and Guinn Seewald.

He is the brother of Jessica Coates, Danielle Seewald, Michelle Barger, Ethan Seewald, Faith Seewald, and Thomas Seewald.

He is the husband of Jessa Seewald and the father of their children, Spurgeon, Henry, Ivy, and Fern.

Early life

Benjamin Michael Seewald was born on May 19, 1995, in Arkansas, to Michael Seewald and Guinn Seewald. He was the couple's first child, and they went on to have six more children after him.

Along with his siblings, Ben was homeschooled growing up. He graduated from high school on May 18, 2013.

When Ben was a child, he wanted to be a paleontologist and often pretended to dig up fossils in his driveway.

As a teenager, Ben had a job working at a country club.

Ben is described as an adventurous foodie, sweet, and patient. He enjoys reading and being actively involved in church ministry.

Personal life

Courting

Courtship

Ben first met his future wife, Jessa Duggar, when he was seventeen years old, while attending church on vacation in Jessa's hometown. He grew facial hair in an attempt to look older in hopes of impressing her. He soon befriended two of Jessa's younger brothers, Joseph and Josiah. He began working overtime to try to earn extra money to go visit the Duggar family under the guise of visiting Josiah, but would always ask if "the whole family" would be there before visiting. After attending church with the family many times, Ben asked Jessa's father, Jim Bob, for her phone number, and began getting to know her both in person and through text.

On September 9, 2013, Ben asked Jim Bob Duggar for permission to court his daughter, Jessa, at the Duggar house in Springdale, Arkansas. Jim Bob gave his permission, and immediately brought Jessa into the room so Ben could ask her too. This courtship proposal, which was featured on the 19 Kids and Counting episode "Flea Market Finale", gained some national attention after being mocked on some late night talk shows and internet gossip sites for its awkwardness.

Ben and Jessa set high standards for themselves during their courtship, allowing themselves only limited physical contact. "Jessa and Ben have said that was the only contact they would have," Jessa's mother, Michelle, said of their rules, "when they initially greet each other, when he comes to visit for their first hello, they have a quick 30-second-or-less side hug and a goodbye side hug, and they agreed that would be the only contact they should have.". Shortly after beginning their courtship, Ben moved into the guest house on the Duggar family's property to be closer to Jessa and avoid the 3 ½ hour drive between them. Ben also worked for Jim Bob during this time, doing various jobs at Jim Bob's multiple properties.

Engaged

Engagement

On August 13, 2014, Ben and Jessa went out to dinner with their parents, Michael and Guinn and Jim Bob and Michelle, at Marketplace Grill, where they went on their first date. At this dinner, Ben gave Jessa a gift with the instructions not to open it until the next day. When she opened the gift on August 14, 2014, she found a tablet with a prerecorded message from Ben instructing Jessa to head to the plane hangar where her older brother, John-David, would take her on a flight to his hometown, Hot Springs, Arkansas. Once in Hot Springs, John-David gave Jessa the next clue, and her brother, Joseph, drove Jessa and their sister, Jinger, to the next destination. They arrived at mini golf, where the couple went on a double date with Jessa's parents, and she had to score a hole-in-one to get the next clue. Jessa then had to collect a dozen roses from strangers in the park, which was specifically designed to get her out of her comfort zone. The next clue sent them to take a trolley ride, where Jessa took a quiz about her relationship with Ben. On the trolley ride, Jessa was presented with a special outfit for her to wear. After a day-long scavenger hunt, Jessa and Jinger headed to Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where Ben had set up candles and rose petals down the aisle. Ben was at the end of the aisle and he proposed to Jessa, and she said yes. Their engagement was featured on the 19 Kids and Counting episode "Jessa's Engagement".

Just married

Marriage

On November 1, 2014, Ben married Jessa Lauren Duggar at First Baptist Church in Bentonville, Arkansas. Although Jessa expressed interest in getting married at Thorncrown Chapel, the location was deemed too small for the more than 1,000 guests invited to the wedding. The wedding was officiated by Mike Schadt. Ben's best man was his friend Dylan McMahan. His groomsmen were his brother Ethan, his cousin Russ Seewald, Jessa's brothers Joseph and Josiah, and his friends Rob Flowers, Jake Hendrix, Kolton Kulis, Daniel Robinson, and Ryan Schofield. The ring bearer was Ben's brother Thomas. Jessa's maid of honor was her sister Jinger. Her bridesmaids were her sisters Jana, Jill, and Joy-Anna, Ben's sisters Jessica, Danielle, and Michelle, and her friends Anna Hackel, Jennifer Hartono, Amara Query, and Peyton Weiss. The flower girls were Jessa's sister Jordyn and Ben's sister Faith. The couple elected not to share their first kiss in front of the crowds, instead allowing it to be a private moment in an undisclosed room in the church. Their wedding was featured on the 19 Kids and Counting episode "Jessa's Wedding" and their YouTube channel.

For their honeymoon, Ben and Jessa went to Paris, France, Rome, Italy, and Venice, Italy. Their honeymoon was featured on the 19 Kids and Counting episode "European Honeymoon".

Fatherhood

Ben and Jessa have publicly expressed a desire to adopt children on many occasions, and have looked into the possibility of fostering children as well.

Baby Spurgeon

On April 21, 2015, Ben and Jessa announced that they were expecting their first child, due November 1, 2015, their first wedding anniversary. On November 6, 2015, Ben and Jessa announced that their baby was a boy and that he was born after 27 hours of labor at 6:24 p.m. on November 5, 2015, at their home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He weighed 9 pounds and 11 ounces, and was 21 ¼ inches long. Jessa had post-birth hemorrhaging after his delivery and had to be rushed to the hospital. On November 11, 2015, they revealed his name to be Spurgeon Elliot. His birth was featured on the Counting On episode "Counting One More".

Baby Henry

On August 23, 2016, Ben and Jessa announced that they were expecting their second child, due February 2017. On February 6, 2017, Ben and Jessa announced that their baby was a boy and that he was born at 4:26 a.m. on February 6, 2017, at their home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He weighed 8 pounds and 11 ounces, and was 21 ¾ inches long. On February 13, 2017, they revealed his name to be Henry Wilberforce. His birth was featured on the Counting On episode "A New Baby".

Baby Ivy

On January 9, 2019, Ben and Jessa announced that they were expecting their third child, due late Spring 2019. The due date was later revealed to be June 6, 2019. On May 28, 2019, Ben and Jessa announced that their daughter, Ivy Jane, was born at 5:57 p.m. on May 26, 2019, at their home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She weighed 7 pounds and 14 ounces, and was 20 ½ inches long. Jessa had post-birth hemorrhaging after her delivery and was rushed to the hospital. Her birth was featured on the Counting On episode "A Surprise Delivery".

Baby Fern

The couple suffered a miscarriage in 2020, but chose not to publicly speak about it at that time. They mentioned it while announcing their pregnancy with Fern, calling the child a "rainbow baby".

On February 18, 2021, Ben and Jessa announced that they were expecting their fourth child, due Summer 2021. The due date was later revealed to be July 17, 2021. On July 20, 2021, Ben and Jessa announced that their daughter, Fern Elliana, was born at 8:10 p.m. on July 18, 2021, at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She weighed 8 pounds and 5.9 ounces, and was 21 inches long. Her birth was featured on Jessa's YouTube channel.

Career

Education

On May 16, 2015, Ben graduated from National Park College with an Associate's degree in Political Science. After graduating, Ben began studying with the intention of going to Seminary. Ben graduated with a degree from Moody Bible Institute.

Teacher

Ben often helps teach Jessa's younger siblings in their homeschooling classes.

Pastor

In January 2021, Ben was officially ordained as a pastor at his church.

Wedding involvement

Ben was a groomsman at his sister-in-law Jinger's wedding to Jeremy Vuolo on November 5, 2016.

Gallery

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